News Alerts

30 Apr 2020 | 02:45 PM UTC

Zambia: Government suspends all tourist visas as of April 29 /update 4

Zambia News Alert

Zambian authorities suspend all tourist visas until further notice amid COVID-19 pandemic April 29; follow official directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/30/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/15/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Lusaka). COUNTRY/REGION Zambia

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Event

On Wednesday, April 29, the Zambian government announced that all tourist visas have been suspended until further notice in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Despite Zambia's borders officially remaining open, travelers arriving with a tourist visa or applying for one on arrival will be denied entry into the country. Non-tourist visas or permits are subject to approval from the Ministry of Health following a health screening at the port of entry. The announcement follows the indefinite suspension of all international flights to and from Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula (LVI), Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe (NLA), and Mfuwe airport (MFU) on March 26. 

Additionally, Zambian authorities have asked citizens to avoid all nonessential foreign travel, banned public gatherings of more than 50 people, and closed restaurants, bars, clubs, cinemas, gyms, and casinos. Cross border public passenger services, railway passenger services, and cross border cargo transportation have also been suspended, although those carrying essential commodities will be allowed into the country.

Previously, the Zambian government closed schools and universities until further notice.

As of Thursday, April 30, there have been 97 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with three associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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