The Namibian government has allowed the state of emergency which was introduced due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to end on Thursday, September 17, and has stated that international travel will be allowed to resume from Friday, September 18. The nationwide curfew in place under the state of emergency had also been lifted. Travel into and out of restricted areas such as Windhoek and towns of Rehoboth (Hardap region) and Okahandja (Otjozondjupa region) is also permitted. Gatherings of up to 50 people or up to 50 percent of a venue's capacity are now permitted, and casinos have been allowed to reopen.
Travel is currently permitted via Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH), provided arrivals quarantine for a period of at least seven days. Tourists must spend this period in an establishment registered with the Namibia Tourism Board and certified by the Ministry of Health. Any person entering Namibia must provide a negative COVID-19 test result produced no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Namibia. Other travelers must notify the nearest Namibian Embassy or High Commission of their intent to travel to Namibia at least two weeks prior to departure, and quarantine upon arrival in an approved facility at their own expense. A COVID-19 test will be administered to travelers after seven days. A positive result will require further self-isolation.
As of September 17, there have been 10,078 cases of COVID-19 in Namibia, with 108 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
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 (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with 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, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.
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