COVID declaration continues to encourage residents to get the vax
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — There are no major changes to the new COVID-19 Emergency Declaration issued over the weekend but it does re-enforce what the ASG COVID-19 Task Force has already announced — that full vaccination for travelers 16 years and older is required for those entering the territory, but exempted is a person not medically qualified for the vaccine.
Signed by Acting Gov. Talauega Eleasalo V. Ale, the declaration, dated Sept. 11th and valid through Oct. 10th, declares that COVID-19 free American Samoa remains under “Code Blue”, and it continues to encourage local residents to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.
“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,” according to the declaration, which further re-enforced this restriction that the task force initially implemented last month after the US Food and Drug Administration granted full approval for the Pfizer vaccine.
ENTERING AMERICAN SAMOA
The declaration also says that any person entering the territory must register with the online travel program approved by COVID-Task Force, DoH and the Department of Legal Affairs. Additionally, the Governor’s Authorized Representative (GAR) is authorized to make exceptions and authorize the entry of persons into the territory without using the online travel program. Furthermore, any person entering under the GAR’s exemption must comply with safety requirements mandated by the GAR.
While no website was mentioned in the declaration for the online travel program, the Task Force has already made public the TalofaPass web-system [https://talofapass.as.gov] where travelers are requaired to register.
The new declaration also keeps in place previous provisions 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 GAR has the authority to issue entry permits.
The new declaration continues the suspension of all regular scheduled commercial passenger flights to and from American Samoa. Additionally, the GAR may authorize limited scheduled flights or authorized flights based on the needs of the territory.
And passengers of any permitted flight must comply with all entry requirements or any additional requirements contained in the “GAR’s written authorization.”
Acting Gov. Talauega, who is also the GAR, has already announced the resumption of commercial flights between Honolulu and Pago Pago on Hawaiian Airlines, with approved two flights every month through December. The first commercial flight re-opening this route is tonight.
While there are no longer restrictions on public gatherings, the declaration reiterated what previous ones have stated that, “Nothing in this order affects the authority of village councils to enact regulations imposing curfews or restricting public gatherings” — pursuant to local law.
And the declaration points out that protective measures taken by the American Samoa Government thus far have prevented the spread of COVID-19 to the territory, however, the imminent threat remains. And this is the reason for the continued emergency declaration.
Click on attachment below to download PDF of the full declaration.