Lemanu’s first declaration extends operating hours for biz & transport
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Operation hours for businesses under COVID-19 restrictions have been extended to 12 midnight while crews on cargo flights landing in American Samoa must provide proof of testing negative to the virus 72-hours prior to arrival.
This is according to Gov. Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga’s new COVID-19 declaration dated Jan. 3, 2021 and released early Sunday evening by the Governor's Office.
Lemanu’s declaration takes over from the last one issued by then Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga, that expired on Sunday — Jan. 3rd.
The new emergency declaration, which continues American Samoa at the “Code Blue” threat-level and expires Jan. 31st, provides some changes, especially for the private sector.
A provision of the declaration states that operating hours for businesses will now be from 5a.m to 12 midnight, except for StarKist and its business affiliates.
The same operating hours also apply to public transportation — taxis and aiga buses — except for buses contracted with StarKist to provide transportation for cannery employees.
Furthermore, all public gatherings, including religious worship are from 5a.m to 12 midnight. However, bingo games for fundraising purposes will continue to remain suspended.
A new requirement, that was not clearly stated in previous declarations by Lolo, deals with cargo flights.
According to Lemanu’s declaration, cargo flights into the territory to deliver or retrieve cargo or mail will be allowed, provided that each occupant on the aircraft must furnish proof to the Health Department director, a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours before arrival.
Furthermore, no one will disembark the aircraft without prior written approval of the governor.
The weekly-cargo flight arrives and departs on Saturdays.
For Hawaiian Airlines flights between Honolulu and Pago Pago, they remain suspended through the end of this month with reconsideration on Feb. 1st.
For inter Samoa flights, they remain suspended but this restriction will continually be reviewed depending on the COVID-19 status of both countries. “If emergency needs arise which will require special flights to American Samoa, this option will be considered by the governor and lt. governor,” it says.
The declaration also makes clear that in addition to COVID-19 requirements — which include getting a negative test — “all inbound travelers must also satisfy immigration requirements for the American Samoa Government in order to secure entry” into the territory.
And all requests for entry into the territory are to be routed through the Attorney General’s Office “with approval authority solely vested in the Governor”.
The previous declarations had this authority vested with the Attorney General.
In the declaration, Lemanu points out that over 300,000 Americans have died from the deadly pandemic, which is a global disaster that poses an imminent threat to American Samoa.
Protective measures taken by ASG thus far have prevented the spread of COVID-19 to the territory, “however, the imminent threat remains,” the document says and urged public cooperation and compliance.
Click on attachment below to download latest Emergency Declaration