Tourism travel advice - 24th March 2020

emergency state orders amendments


Samoa’s State of Emergency Orders have been amended to include the latest additional Orders which were signed into law today.

Included in the amended Orders is ceasing of all international travel to and from Samoa by airplane which will come into effect at 12am Thursday, 26th March 2020.

Ship access to Apia wharf is limited specifically for the purposes of trade, fishing, and petroleum, with the Ministry of Health to continue with the approved medical clearance of all crew members, while domestic travel between Upolu and Savaii Islands for the general public is also ceased, accept ferry travel for trade and Government services.

The full amended State of Emergency Orders commenced today, 24th March, and are stated below:

1. National fasting and prayer:

A national period of fasting and prayer is to be observed by every family in Samoa from Sunday 22 March 2020 until Sunday 29 March 2020 from 6.00am – 12.00pm daily.


2. International travel, planes and ships:

(1) Except in exceptional circumstances with Cabinet approval, starting from 12am of Thursday morning, 26 March 2020, all international travel to and from Samoa by plane are ceased.

(2) Ship access to Apia wharf is limited specifically for the purposes of trade, fishing, and petroleum, and the Ministry of Health is required to continue with the approved medical clearance of all crew members.


3. Public gatherings:

(1) There shall be no public gathering of more than 5 people at any public place.

(2) There shall be no public gatherings of any sort which include but are not limited to:

(a) Church gatherings;

(b) Sports events;

(c) Entertainment gatherings.

(3) All nightclubs, bars, theatres, bars attached to restaurants or hotels, or any other public place people accustom for social gatherings are to be closed.

(4) All people are prohibited from gathering at airports or wharves unless it is for permitted travel.

(5) All owners of restaurants are:

a. prohibited from opening to customers for dining in; and

b. permitted to provide customers with food to take away, for consumption away from a public place (at home).


4. Public transport:


(1) The operation of public transport such as buses and vans that carry more than 5 people are prohibited.

(2) Operators of public transport that carry 5 people or less are permitted to continue operation.


(3) Effective from 12am of Thursday morning, 26 March 2020, travel for passengers between Upolu and Savaii cease. This does not include ferry travel for trade and Government services.


5. Markets and supermarkets:

(1) The Savalalo, Fugalei, Salelologa, Vaitele markets, and all other flea markets or any market which the public have access to:

(a) are only permitted to open from 6.00am – 4.00pm after which a curfew will be in force from 4.00pm to 6.00am daily; and

(b) every person is required to return home by 4.00pm and is not permitted to sleep overnight at any marketplace.

(2) Opening hours for all supermarkets is from 6am-4pm, until further notice


6. Street vendors

(1) There shall be no selling of any goods beside roads, street, culverts or footpaths.

(2) Children selling goods in public is strictly prohibited.


7. Schools:

(1) All schools are to close until further notice.


8. Access to Health Facilities:

(1) All persons of the age of 60 and above are to remain at home and must not move out and about in public, unless he or she is seeking medical attention at any health facility.

(2) All persons are prohibited from accessing any health facility unless he or she is seeking medical attention at any health facility.

(3) A person that is admitted to the hospital may:

a. only have one carer to tend to him or her; and

b. only be visited by 2 people at any one time.

(4) All patient care intended for travel overseas under the Samoa Medical Treatment Scheme are hereby suspended until further notice.


9. Restriction for Government services:

(1) The Public Service Commission (“Commission”) is to determine conditions in which employees are to continue working under, with the objective of ensuring minimal spread of infection.

(2) The Commission’s conditions shall apply to all Government Ministries and Public Bodies.

(3) All Government trips overseas are hereby suspended until further notice.


10. Ministry of Health duties:

The Ministry of Health shall ensure to implement awareness programmes for the prevention of the spread the Covid-19.


11. Samoa Police Service:

The Samoa Police Service shall implement this Order.


12. Special Powers of Government Chief Executive Officers:

All Chief Executive Officers of Government Ministries and Public Bodies are empowered to exercise their statutory functions, duties and powers provided under any legislation, or administrative functions for the implementation of the Sector Preparedness and Response Matrix Consolidated for Corona Virus Pandemic.


13. Penalties:

(a) A person commits an offence where the person does not comply with any of the above orders, attracting the following penalties:

(i) for an individual, $200 for a first offence, and $500 for a continuous offence; and

(ii) for an organization or corporation or similar such legal entity, $5,000 for a first

offence, $7,000 for a continuous offence.

(b) Penalties issued under this order must be paid within 24 hours of the offence, failure of which the offender may be detained by Police for not more than 3 months.

(c) The Ministry of Police is responsible for the enforcement of this Order.


14. Financing:

The financing of the implementation of this Order shall be funded by the appropriate budget approved by the Government.


15. The Emergency Order 2 issued on 21st March 2020 is revoked.

This Order commences on 24th March 2020.


More Info:

Visit the Government of Samoa website & FB pages http://www.samoagovt.ws https://www.facebook.com/samoagovt/ and Ministry of Health website & FB pages https://www.health.gov.ws/ https://www.facebook.com/publichealthsamoa for more information.

Contact their 24-hour call center on 21183, 21176, 21173, 22914 & 24402 or email Tagaloa Dr. Robert Thomsen robertt@health.gov.ws (+685) 767-6015 or Dr. Sarah Brown sarahb@health.gov.ws.

The Samoa Tourism Authority has now activated its Disaster Response Center, working closely with the National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC) and other relevant Government Agencies.

For any needed assistance during the emergency period, contact Tupa’i Robert Ah Sam robert@samoa.travel Ph 762-7714 or Su’a Hesed Ieremia hesed@samoa.travel Ph 724-7865.

May the Almighty continue to protect and guide our Beautiful Samoa in this challenging time.

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