On Jan. 13, authorities revised and extended Namibia's national curfew measures and other movement restrictions as part of the government's ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response plan. The 2100-0400 nightly curfew remains in place, while public gatherings are limited to 50 people and may not last for more than two hours. Restrictions on the sale of alcohol were also announced. These measures will remain in place until at least Feb. 3.
The use of protective facemasks remains compulsory in all public spaces and transportation. Bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and casinos must close by 2200. Social distancing protocols are to be strictly enforced in public spaces, including retail outlets, shopping malls, offices, and all businesses.
International Travel RegulationsInternational passenger flights are ongoing at Windhoek's Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH). Travelers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test obtained within the previous 72 hours prior to boarding a flight. There is no quarantine requirement if the negative COVID-19 test result is fewer than 72 hours old; however, if the negative result is older than 72 hours but less than seven days, the traveler will need to quarantine for seven days at home or at a government-approved facility. Permanent residents who do not provide a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival will be required to self-quarantine for seven days.
The Katima Mulilo, Ariamsvlei, and Noordoewer land border crossings are reportedly reopened for commercial passenger travel; however, existing travel restrictions in neighboring countries will continue to limit cross-border travel. Truck drivers entering the country are subject to testing and mandatory supervised quarantine for a period of seven days. Walvis Bay harbor is also open for commercial maritime travel.
All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews. Security forces have been deployed to ensure compliance. Fines will be issued to persons not complying with the COVID-19-related measures.
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Follow all official instructions. Before departing for Namibia, confirm with local authorities or diplomatic missions on the status of quarantine and or other restrictive measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Plan for possible ground shipping and travel delays; seek alternative routes and shipping methods for time-sensitive cargo.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.
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