Immigration officials, stationed at the Mohembo border post in the Kavango East region, have indicated they are ready to gradually reopen the border in line with the Covid-19 state of emergency regulations.
Benedictus Shampapi, a senior immigration officer, said this recently during a visit by the National Council’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security.
“We are prepared in the sense that this is the work we have been doing all along. Any influx of people, we are ready to clear them and render that service to the best of our ability,” Shampapi said.
Persons planning to enter Namibia are expected to present an authorised officer with negative Covid-19 test results not older than 72 hours at the time of entering the country. Shampapi further indicated they have already received indication from travellers who would like to pass through the border post. Travellers are still expected to self-quarantine for 14 days at their own cost as a health precautionary measure.
“We have received a lot of queries in regards to the opening of the border. Statistics show that we will be receiving an overwhelming number of people who will be crossing this border post once it is opened daily,” Shampapi said.
Currently, tourists from Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa make use of the Mohembo border post to travel to their desired destinations.
According to the immigration officials, the border post is also a commercial border, a transit for trucks transporting essential goods. An environmental health practitioner in the ministry of health, Markus Joao, stationed at the border, said they have a thermal camera to screen all travellers who will be crossing through the border. He indicated that all health preventative measures would also be practised in compliance with the Covid-19 regulations.
“What we normally do here when people come through this border is we screen them for Covid-19 and we check whether they have valid test results not older than 72 hours,” Joao explained.
He further indicated that once this process is completed, visitors are then allowed to proceed to the clearance or immigration section of the border post. When trucks enter the border, they are also expected to comply with these preventative measures, including disinfection.
The members of the Namibian Defence Force have also been deployed to the border to support the security clusters’ efforts at the border post.