Director General will “determine” quarantine period under amended SOE orders


Under amended State of Emergency Orders 75, the Director General will “determine” the quarantine period for incoming passengers.

“Any passenger, pilot and crew members travelling into Samoa by plane or boat exempted under Order 1(1), (3) and (4) must complete the Medical Clearance Health Documentation Check-in Form and specifically declare whether or not they have been infected with the COVID19 virus.”

“And must be quarantined on arrival in Samoa for a period as determined by the Director General on the following terms and conditions: at the places and conditions to be determined by Cabinet and costs of accommodation, breakfast and lunch for Samoan citizen passengers only are to be borne by the Government but dinner will be their responsibility whilst in quarantine; at the passenger’s home as approved by the Director General of Health upon prescribed conditions determined by him or her for approval for self-isolation quarantine.

Initially quarantine period was 21 days, then it was amended to 14. However, for the 29 March flight from New Zealand the Government amended it to seven days, which was then increased to ten days after four passengers were tested positive.

The new SOE orders allow for public gatherings but are restricted to no more than 15 people and must be 12 years of age and above unless it is for the purpose of receiving the COVID-19 Vaccination.

“For funerals on the following conditions, attendance is restricted up to thirty people including one person officiating the burial services.”

Swimming at beaches, rivers and pools is prohibited and there shall be no sporting events and tournaments and gaming of any kind.

“All people are prohibited from gathering at airports or wharves unless it is permitted for travel.”

Under the SOE orders 75, all church worship and gatherings are permitted but restricted to no more than 30 people; must be 12 years of age and above; must show COVID-19 Vaccination card; observe social distancing and must wear face masks.

“All persons attending church worships and gatherings are required to observe safety rules as advised by the Ministry of Health or the NEOC from time to time.”

For busses and taxis travel is permitted from 6am to 2pm on Monday to Saturday. “Operators of buses must not carry more than 20 passengers; and operators of taxis (sedans) must not carry more than 2 passengers, including the driver and operators of taxi vans must not carry more than 8 passengers including the driver.

Passengers under the age of 12 are not permitted unless it is for the purposes of receiving the Covid19 Vaccination.

Regarding ferry services between Upolu and Savaii will operate according to the normal schedule including Sundays on the following conditions, but restricted to no more than 30 passengers; children under the age of 12 not permitted.

For markets, small shops, supermarkets, and businesses are permitted to open from Monday to Saturday, from 6.00am – 2:00pm and no person is to sleep overnight at any marketplace.

Except for the following businesses which are to close until further notice, nightclubs and bars; fitness centres and gyms and gaming facilities.

Hotels may open but for in-house hotel guests for room service and takeaway only from Monday to Sunday; and hotel restaurants may open to the public from Monday to Saturday from 6.00am to 2.00pm for takeaway only.

“All businesses must close on Sunday.”

Under the SOE order 75 the selling of goods by street vendors is prohibited and children under the age of 16 years selling goods in public are strictly prohibited.

Furthermore, the selling of alcohol is prohibited.

“All schools and tertiary education institutions are to close until further notice. “The Ministry of Education Sports and Culture must ensure that the alternative modes of delivery (i.e online learning) are activated for all schools and children to minimize disruption to school operation.”

Furthermore, all persons are prohibited from accessing any hospital unless it is an emergency, or he or she is seeking urgent medical attention or assistance at any health facility.

The penalties stipulated under SOE order 75 is printed verbatim below.

(1) A person commits an offence where the person does not comply with any of the above orders except for order 1, attracting the following penalties:

(a) a fine of:

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

(ii) for an organization or corporation or similar such legal entity,

a fine of $5,000 for a first offence, and a fine of $7,000 for a continuous offence; or

(b) detainment by the Police not exceeding 3 months; or

(c) both detainment and fines are prescribed under paragraph (a).

(2) A person commits an offence where the person does not comply with order 1 attracting the following penalties:

(a) for an individual, a fine of $2000;

(b) for an organization or company, a fine of $15,000 for a first offence, and a fine of $20,000 for a continuous offence.

(3) A person who holds more than one citizenship, who uses a foreign passport to travel out of Samoa, and returns to Samoa using his or her Samoan passport or foreign passport with a visa exemption for a short­ term trip, breaches Order 1(2) and is subject to a fine of $2000.00 in addition to being subject to paying his or her own costs for quarantine as required.

(4) A person commits an offence, where the person does not comply with quarantine requirements issued by the Director General of the Ministry of Health attracting a penalty of $2,000.00.

(5) The payment of a fine under this Order, shall avoid any further prosecution for the offence stipulated in the Notice issued under Order 17.

(6) Where a person is convicted of an offence under these Orders, he or she shall be liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000.00 or imprisonment not exceeding 12 months, or both.

(7) Any business that breaches Order 6 and 8 under these Orders will have their business or alcohol license revoked for the duration of the State of Emergency, in addition to penalties already provided under the relevant legislation regarding business and alcohol licenses.