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Gov reiterates vax mandate deadline in latest Emergency Declaration

Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga
Proposed dates for future Hawaiian Air flights also announced

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — There are no new provisions added to Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga’s latest COVID-19 Emergency Declaration, which reiterated that Executive Branch employees must be fully vaccinated by this week Friday and that the 2021 Amnesty Program concludes on Thursday.

Lemanu’s new declaration — dated Jan, 6 and effective Jan 8 for 30 days — was released last Thursday afternoon by the Governor’s Office and it declares that American Samoa remains under “Code Blue” with no local community transmission of the deadly COVID-19 virus which, “poses an imminent threat to the entirety of the Territory.”

The new declaration states that all Executive Branch employees — including but not limited to career service employees, political appointees and contract workers —  must provide to the Human Resources director with evidence of having completed the full course of vaccination against COVID-19 that is approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization by Jan. 14, 2022. 

It also keeps in place all other requirements for this specific issue including exemptions from the mandate, such as medical reasons and religious beliefs.

Furthermore, determination whether an exception is legally required will include consideration of relevant factors, including the basis for the request; nature of the employee’s job responsibilities; and the reasonably foreseeable effects and any burden in government; and the protection of other employees and the public from COVID-19.

It is also a requirement that no employee hired after Nov. 1, 2021 shall begin work until they demonstrate that they can comply with the full vaccination requirement or are granted an exemption.


The new declaration reaffirmed that the 2021 Amnesty Program, available since Nov. 12, 2021, will concluded on Jan. 13 this year, and applications submitted prior to Jan. 13 shall continue to be processed and decided by the Immigration Board.

The program allows foreigners who are present in American Samoa who do not have legal status and are considered “overstayers” to apply at the Immigration Office for a P5 immigration status.


The new declaration maintains restrictions that full vaccination is required prior to entering American Samoa for any person who is 16 years or older, unless the person is not medically qualified.

It also maintains current restrictions, which continue the suspension of all entry permits until further notice with the exception of Guest Worker Permits issued for employment at the cannery or a call center pursuant to local law. And the Governor’s Authorized Representative (GAR) has the authority to issue entry permits.

Persons allowed to enter must register with TALOFAPASS, websystem [] and that the GAR is authorized to make exceptions and authorize the entry of persons into the territory without using the online travel program.

And travelers must show proof of a negative test or tests prior to arrival as required by the Health Department.

The new declaration continues the suspension of all regularly scheduled commercial passenger flights to and from American Samoa. Additionally, the GAR may authorize limited scheduled flights or authorize flights based on the needs of the territory.

Hawaiian Airlines commercial flights between Honolulu and Pago Pago continue on a limited basis, with flights already approved for January to March this year. And the governor has sent a request to the airline for approval of 8 flights from April to July this year.

The proposed schedule is as follows:

      Thursday, April 14, 2022

      Thursday, April 28, 2022

      Thursday, May 12, 2022

      Thursday, May 26, 2022

      Thursday, June 9, 2022

      Thursday, June 23, 2022

      Thursday, July 7, 2022

      Thursday, July 21, 2022

There are also limited flights per week for the inter-Samoa route.

While there are no longer restrictions on business hour operations or public gatherings, the new declaration, as in previous ones, makes clear that: “Nothing in this order affects the authority of village councils to enact regulations imposing curfews or restricting public gatherings pursuant to A.S.C.A 5.0305.”

Samoa News had received queries from some in the private sector who say they have been given “business hours restrictions” and instructed to close by 9p.m. or 10p.m by at least two village councils on Tutuila. 

Click on attachment to dowload full text of declaration.