Staff Writer

The Namibia Airports Company says its prepared to start receiving international travellers at Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) as part of the country’s Target International Tourism Revival Initiative.

“NAC has set in motion, its restart plan under the heading “Resumption of Activities” to ensure the airport readiness upon the resumption of international flights as borders are to gradually open under the provisions of the State of the Emergency Regulations on COVID-19.The NAC has not received any airlines scheduled ahead of the reopening, but they have expressed their willingness to resume flights and we are anticipating mid-September 2020. Alternatively, we advise prospective passengers to consult airlines for travel itineraries,” MAC Spokesperson Dan Kamati said.

He said mandatory safety measures had been put in place at the airport.

“Mandatory thermal screening at arrival and departure points will take place and social distancing of 1.5 meters will continue to be observed as well as indicated distance seating. The airport surfaces, trollies and other amenities will be disinfected and cleaned frequently for your safety. The airport counters are fitted with transparent glasses and hand sanitizers for healthy consultations,” Kamati said.

According to protocols guiding the international tourism revival initiative announced by the Tourism ministry , entry to the country will only be allowed through Hosea Kutako International Airport and all travellers will be expected to present a negative PCR test result, not older than 72 hours before boarding their flight in order to be allowed to enter Namibia.

The initiative is a government plan aimed at providing a lifeline to the country’s tourism sector which is on the verge of collapse due to the closure of the borders as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This announcement comes after two failed attempts by government to open the borders to international tourist arrivals due to increases in infection rates in different parts of the country. In addition, the working group of the ministry, NTB, and representatives of the private sector tourism associations had different perspectives on how to re-open the country safely and viably.

Germany and German-speaking European countries like Switzerland and Austria have been identified as the target market for the initiative, due to their previous high volume arrivals to Namibia.