Andrew Kathindi

President Hage Geingob has declared new measures for stage 4 lockdown restrictions as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country.

While the rest of the country will remain under Stage 4 of the lockdown state of emergency restrictions, Erongo Region and the towns of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis will remain unchanged in Stage 3 until midnight on Monday 31 August.

As for the other 14 regions, public gatherings have been reduced from 250 to 100 persons, along with a list of new measures to help battle the spread of COVID-19, including the suspension of face-to-face teaching for grades 0-9 around the country.

“The sale of alcohol is to remain on a takeaway basis and for consumption in private dwellings, shebeens and bars. For restaurants and hotels, onsite consumption of alcohol is permitted, as per the current arrangements under Stage 4,” said President Geingob.

He further stated, “Contact sports will be permitted, but no spectators allowed. Unregistered sports activities that draw crowds must be discouraged in the communities.”

These revised measures under Stage 4 come into effect from midnight, 3 August until midnight 17 September.

Starting next week, tourists are also set to return.

Geingob stated, that following a lengthy consultation process, the initiative to open boarders to a select group of tourists has now been approved to commence from Monday, 3 August, subject to the agreed protocols, including reciprocity. Minister of Finance Iipumbu Shiimi stated that tourists allowed to arrive will be from countries that allow Namibians to enter.

However, the details of the modalities are to be finalized by a National Task Team that is to be constituted by the line Minister, comprising of sector representatives and key institutions.

“Tourists will not be subjected to a mandatory quarantine. They will however be required to remain at their first initial destination in the country, for a period of 7 days. A test will be conducted during this period and the tourist will be permitted to proceed with their holiday on Day 7, provided the test result is negative. The modalities have been carefully negotiated and agreed upon, so as to achieve the dual objective of stimulating our tourism sector and safeguarding public health.”

This comes as Namibia has now recorded 2052 positive cases and 10 deaths.