Tonga this afternoon announced a state of emergency, followed by Samoa several hours later. Earlier today, Samoa had also ordered restrictions on gatherings to no more than five people.
Tonga's state of emergency will activate at 8pm tonight and will last for one month, Prime Minister Pohiva Tu'onetoa said today. It will be reviewed on April 17.
He also announced restrictions on mass gatherings, limiting them to no more than 20 people indoors and 40 outdoors.
Bars and nightclubs will close next Monday and other gatherings such as weddings, funerals and sports events will also be banned.
Border restrictions have been reduced to allow for Tongan residents holding Tongan passports.
Meanwhile, gatherings in Samoa will be restricted to five people or less - this also applies to church services.
Public transport is also affected, with buses no longer an option.
Under the emergency order, Samoan Head of State, Afioga Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi ordered a daily period of fasting and prayer to be observed by every family. The borders will also be closed to all non-citizens and residents, and schools are to be closed.
At present, Samoa has one suspected case of Covid-19.
On March 15, the Samoan government announced tighter border restrictions to keep the country free of Covid-19.
Under the previous order, all passengers arriving in Samoa must have undergone a medical examination in the three days prior to their arrival.