APIA, SAMOA – 11 JUNE 2020: Street vendors selling food are allowed back in business today as Government ease up the Covid-19 State of Emergency orders and after meeting the Association of Food sellers.
The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi told TV3 last night that he did not know such an Association existed and he was surprised that it was led by elderly men and women who rely on this business as their source of income. The Association voiced their concern about the impact of the COVID-19 State of Emergency orders and lock-down on their families income.
The selling of goods by street vendors in Apia is now permitted on the following conditions:
- only fruits, vegetables, cooked food and designed/elei materials/lavalava are allowed to be sold;
- selling of fizzy drinks and bongo is prohibited;
- encourage the use of Health Cards for those who are preparing the food allowed to be sold in Apia for hygiene purposes required;
- to issue appropriate penalties to those who breach these conditions;
- the ban on selling goods on the footpath remains in effect.
- Children under 16 years old are strictly prohibited selling goods in public.
These conditions will be monitored by the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) committee.
Samoa is still Covid-19 free and a lot of people have questioned the extended lock-down and restrictions that continues to affect the economy when the emphasis should be on screening at the country’s borders.
The existing Sunday restrictions according to Tuilaepa will continue after the lock-down. This has been seen as a political gimmick to make the churches happy following recent church objections to major construction work and business activities on Sundays and the on-going debate with mainline churches regarding the taxation of church ministers with court cases still pending.