Namibia is set to become the first country in the southern African region to open up its borders to international tourists after the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that followed. The country has cited job loses in the tourism sector as the main reason.
President Hage Geingob made this announcement yesterday while sharing that a ministerial taskforce, led by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, would commence an assessment of opening up to international tourism from countries with a lower Covid-19 risk.
Pohamba Shifeta, minister of environment, forestry and tourism recently said the tourism industry stands to bleed N$20 billion at the current rate of zero tourist arrivals. The announcement also came with the news that Namibia will move to stage 4 of the lockdown exit strategy early next month, balancing economic operations with the health of Namibians.
Geingob said Namibia would allow foreign tourists with COVID-19-free certificates into the country. These tourists would have to be tested for Covid-19 upon entry and undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine period at their own cost.
Geingob said although the points of entry would remain closed when Namibia moves to stage 4 from 30 June to 17 September, the government will conduct a targeted international tourism revival initiative from 15 July to 15 August in collaboration with the tourism and hospitality sector.