1 Sep 2020

Samoa Opposition say Covid-19 restrictions 'heavy-handed'

1:17 pm on 1 September 2020

Opposition parties in Samoa are describing the government's Covid-19 State of Emergency restrictions as "heavy handed" and "unnecessary."

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Photo: RNZ Pacific / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

They also questioned the apparent random application of enforcement measures.

Police have been interrupting church services, including funerals, to ensure there were no more than the 100 people there and that social distancing measures were being observed.

However, the head of the Tautua Samoa Party, Luagalau Dr Afualo Salele, told the Samoa Observer newspaper a government-sponsored opening of Apia's new Vaisigano Bridge was not subject to such police enforcement.

Luagalau claimed the crowd there was in excess of 100 people, including many Cabinet Ministers.

He said the laws were both heavy handed and inconsistent, especially as the country remained free of Covid-19.

Tumua ma Puleono party secretary, John Malae-ole-vavau Peterson, said after six months without the coronavirus, current restrictions were sometimes an unnecessary over-reach.