11am Saturday 22 January 2022, Office of the Prime Minister, Apia Samoa. Samoa will impose a nation-wide lockdown for 48 hours from 6pm tonight to 6pm Monday 24th January 2022.
The decision to move into Alert Level 3 was announced by Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa at a press conference with local media at around 11am Saturday morning following a prolonged Cabinet meeting.
The stance is made as a precautionary measure after a further five positive cases were confirmed from amongst passengers of a repatriation flight from Brisbane that arrived into Faleolo International Airport on Wednesday afternoon.
“This is a significant number of cases for Samoa, given the vigilance with which we have managed health border security,” said Fiame.
The Samoa Prime Minister says the original 10 and additional 5 positive cases are all in quarantine, however, “Cabinet has decided to exercise and impose measures that will further enhance the security and protection of everyone from the virus, and to ensure the risk of a likely community transmission is minimised to the extent possible”.
The Prime Minister said Cabinet had considered and approved the advice from Samoa’s National Emergency Operations Centre to elevate Samoa’s Alert Level to Level 3 status, “Red or High Risk”.
Level 3 lockdown requires everyone to remain at home with the exception of authorised essential workers and essential services. Only authorised vehicles are allowed on the roads during the lockdown period. All other activities such as work, schools, travel, restaurants, bars and churches will be closed.
The Prime Minister said Cabinet will carefully monitor the situation and make necessary amendments depending on the situation at hand. “Police will continue to maintain law and order, and the Disaster Advisory Committee and the NEOC will provide updates and relevant information for the general public, said the Prime Minister.
“Under the current circumstances the measures outlined are not intended to cause panic but to simply encourage caution, vigilance and enhanced awareness of an evolving situation,” said the Prime Minister.
“Government is asking for your cooperation and support, and that we continue to work together as a nation. Unity will facilitate meeting our objectives. With God’s guidance and benevolence, we will work our way through this challenging situation we are in..
“Please remember our health care workers in our prayers and thoughts. In particular our health workers who have worked tirelessly over the last two years to ensure we remain a safe and protected society from the reaches of the pandemic”.