Botswana will allow direct chartered international flights to some of the country’s premier tourist resorts with effect from November 1, Tourism Minister Philda Kereng has said.
Kereng is quoted by the state-run Botswana Daily News on Sunday as saying that the COVID-19 Presidential Task Team had approved the ministry’s proposal to allow direct chartered international flights to such as Chobe National Park and Ngamiland starting next month.
Ngamiland is home to the Okavango Delta, one of the world's largest inland deltas.
She said the move is part of a pilot initiative that would be used to guide the tourism industry towards full opening.
Like most other southern African countries, Botswana suspended international flights in April following the imposition of a lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.
According to the minister, while there was keen interest in reopening Botswana’s borders, “there was need to keep the delicate balance between the economy and health matters.”
This is particularly important amid a recent spike in the country’s COVID-19 cases.