Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Namibia announces end of state of emergency Sept. 17. Curfew lifted and movement restrictions canceled. International travel may resume.

Alert Begins 18 Sep 2020 03:08 PM UTC
Alert Expires 30 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Movement and travel restrictions

Summary
President Hage Geingob announced Sept. 17 that the nationwide state of emergency had expired and that international commercial passenger travel would resume, as of Sept. 18. Authorities also announced restrictions in place to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including restrictions on nonessential movement and the nightly 2200-0500 curfew, have been lifted. Entry and exit restrictions have been removed for the capital, Windhoek, the wider Khomas Region, and the cities of Rehoboth and Okahandja. Public gatherings are still limited to 50 people; however, nightclubs and casinos may now operate.

Windhoek's Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) has been open for international flights since Sept. 1. Travelers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test obtained within the previous 72 hours prior to boarding a flight. Travelers must also fill out a health declaration form. Authorities have not announced changes to previous requirements that returning citizens, business travelers, and permanent residents undertake mandatory quarantine for a period of seven days upon arrival. Tourists will not be required to self-quarantine; however, recreational travelers testing positive for COVID-19 will be taken to isolation facilities for quarantine at their personal cost. Quarantine and screening processes are likely to be updated in the coming days.

Land and maritime borders are reportedly reopening for commercial travel; however, existing travel restrictions in neighboring countries will continue to limit cross-border travel. Truck drivers entering the country are subject to testing and mandatory supervised quarantine for a period of seven days.

Authorities have stated that they may reintroduce restrictions based on assessments of disease activity after 14-days.

Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Before departing for Namibia, confirm with local authorities or diplomatic missions on the status of quarantine and or other restrictive measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Plan for possible ground shipping and travel delays; seek alternative routes and shipping methods for time-sensitive cargo.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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