Tourists to quarantine – Geingob

Staff Writer

President Hage Geingob has confirmed that tourists who plan to come into the country under the proposed International Tourism revival initiative, will be expected to undergo mandatory 14 day quarantine when they arrive in the country.

Speaking during a COVID-19 Response Erongo region press conference on Monday, the President said quarantine will be a requirement for all tourists entering the country and those not willing to comply should not come. The proposal is intended to run from the 15th of July to the 15th of August 2020. “If you are not willing to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive, you should not come. If it was me, I will not come. I was told they are die hard tourists that are willing to spend the 14 days locked up and enjoy the country after,” Geingob said.

The President’s announcement comes amidst concern that the requirement, to keep tourists in a quarantine facility for two weeks at their own cost, may be too strict, probably mitigating against any potential success of the initiative.

The Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) was mandated by the government to research and suggest to government measures encouraging tourists back into the country. The NTB was expected to submit its proposal last mont

The NTB’s proposal include tourists presenting their COVID-19 negative test results, which must have been issued within 72 hours, and also agreeing to a test after the 14 quarantine, with negative results before exploring the country.

The NTB is looking at Germany and German -speaking countries such as Switzerland and Austria for their highest arrival percentages to Namibia, and also because of the existence of scheduled direct flights between Germany and Namibia.

Fears have however been raised over Germany, as the country has 198,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, which have spiked compelling the co7untry back into lockdown.

Namibia’s tourism sector has been one of the hardest hit sectors by COVID-19, with the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta in May projecting that over N$20 billion could be lost by the end of the year.

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