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No restrictions on foreign tourists

2021-07-06  Albertina Nakale

No restrictions on foreign tourists
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As part of the new tourist dispensation guidelines, there will be no travel restrictions applicable to international tourists once they comply with the provisions outlined in the appended protocols.  

Tourism regulations, applicable in the current Covid-19 measures from 1 July to 15 July 2021, have been expanded in line with existing general populace regulations as outlined in the Public and Environmental Health Act, 2015, and all Covid-19 measures and amendments issued on 30 June 2021.

Last week, President Hage Geingob announced new measures and amendments to the public health regulations aimed at curbing the increasing cases of Covid-19 in the country. 

Geingob also announced a special dispensation for tourists would be put in place. “It is of utmost importance for all industry players and stakeholders to enforce these protocols and instruments to ensure the highest standards of health and hygiene as well as the safety of tourists visiting our country and its tourism destinations,”
tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta said.

In a joint statement, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula and Shifeta provided clarification regarding this special dispensation for tourists during the period 1-15 July 2021.  They said entry into Namibia will be allowed at international airports and any land border posts open for entry into the country.

Tourists are required to present a valid negative SARS-COV-2 PCR test not older than seven days upon entry into Namibia through ports of entry designated by home affairs and immigration. The ministers pointed out that tourists are not required to be retested for Covid-19 after the expiry of seven days of the initial negative SARS-COV-2 PCR test, unless the tourist presents symptoms during their stay.  Any SARS-COV-2 PCR test will be at the own cost of the tourists.  All arriving visitors are required to present a mobile number to be used to send and communicate with the tourists for his or her Covid-19 test results, contact tracing and related communication.

Similarly, all tourists detected with symptoms will be subjected to further screening and may be required to remain in isolation until a repeat Covid-19 test is conducted at their own cost. 

If the result is positive, the tourist will be taken to an isolation facility and treated at their own cost and according to national case management guidelines.

The guidelines indicate tourists must complete and submit a health declaration and health surveillance forms to health officials, while they will be subjected to screening
upon arrival and departure.

All tourists are required to wear masks in vehicles, aircraft and in public places at all times. Tourists are mandated to acquire
travel insurance that covers medical care in the event of an unexpected extended stay in Namibia. Travellers must have documentation with a full travel itinerary, including proof of confirmation of bookings, which must be presented on demand to authorised officials at ports of entry or roadblocks.

However, they are allowed to travel along their planned journey if cleared at the port of entry into Namibia for the duration of their journey, including entry into and departure out of any restricted areas.

Entry into Namibia will be allowed at international airports and any land border posts open for entry into the country.

Shifeta recommended the tourism sector should develop and offer affordable pricing options to tourists, aimed at attracting families or individuals away from congested places to local tourism destinations.

Another suggestion is to develop and promote innovative nature-based tourism products to allow healing processes for those affected by fear or shock of the Covid-19 pandemic and to deal with the “confinement” syndrome and its negative effects. 

“The industry may strive to ensure that all workers in the sector are vaccinated against Covid-19 as far as possible for their own protection and for the protection of tourists,” he encouraged.  

– anakale@nepc.com.na


2021-07-06  Albertina Nakale

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