Namibia relaxes COVID-19 restrictions

APA-Windhoek (Namibia)

Namibia will relax restrictions under a nationwide coronavirus lockdown for all but one of its 14 regions from June 30, President Hage Geingob announced on Monday.

Geingob said all regions except Erongo would move from Stage 3 to the less stringent Stage 4 as part of "a complex undertaking to draw a balance between protecting lives and supporting livelihoods." 

"Government's approach - to further relax national restrictions under Stage 4 – aims to boost social and economic activities, while continuing to advocate for intensified public adherence to health and hygiene protocols so as to safeguard our successes," Geingob told journalists in Windhoek.  

The country is expected to migrate to Stage 4 for an extended 10-week period, "with relaxed precautions on 30 June to 17 September.

Erongo Region is home to the port city of Walvis Bay, Namibia's second largest city. The region accounts for the majority of the 63 recorded COVID-19 cases in Namibia.

The relaxation would allow for gatherings of as many as 250 people for weddings, funerals and religious services, while attendance at schools would remain voluntary, Geingob said.

However, points of entry would remain closed except for the transportation of imported goods. 

He revealed that the government would, in collaboration with players in the tourism and hospitality sector, "conduct a targeted international tourism revival initiative between 15 July to 15 August." 

"This initiative will look to accommodate a limited number of tourists who will be determined in consultation with the private sector from a carefully selected low risk market that has potential to contribute towards our tourism sector," the president said.

He said the initiative would inform and strengthen public sector preparations for the imminent reopening of borders under Stage 5, which is expected to commence on 18 September.


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