Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Namibia relaxes COVID-19 restrictions to Stage 4 nationwide until Sept. 17. Erongo Region under Stage 3 until July 6. Disruptions persist.
- Alert Begins: 02 Jul 2020 05:37 PM UTC
- Alert Expires: 17 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Movement and travel restrictions
President Hage Geingob announced that nationwide movement restrictions have been eased from Stage 3 to Stage 4 until Sept. 17 to halt the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The Erongo Region will be excluded from the change and will remain under Stage 3 restrictions until July 6, with additional restrictions in place for the Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, and Arandis local authority areas.
Stage 4 restrictions allow for increased social and economic activities. Under revised nationwide Level 4 restrictions:
- The wearing of protective face masks is mandatory in public and at businesses.
- Public gatherings, including conferences, convention centers, and cultural, social gatherings, and sports events, are limited to 250 people.
- Social distancing of at least 1 meter (3 feet) must continue where possible.
- Businesses are required to keep a register of customers' details to assist with contact tracing.
- Nightclubs and casinos may reopen to pre-booked clients.
Stage 3 restrictions for the Erongo Region include:
- Social distancing of 1 meter (3 feet) remains mandatory.
- Protective masks are mandatory when using private and public transport, shopping, exercising, and being in the workplace.
- Businesses are required to keep a register of customers' details, to assist with contact tracing.
- Authorities continue to encourage the public to stay at home and limit movement.
- Authorities encourage workers to work from home.
- Officials are prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people.
- Public gatherings larger than 10 people are prohibited in the Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, and Arandis local authority areas.
- Travel between the Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, and Arandis local authority areas and the rest of the country is discouraged.
Several travel restrictions will remain in place under the Stage 4 regulations:
- Land, sea, and air borders remain closed, except for the repatriation of Namibian nationals and foreign citizens, and the movement of goods. Humanitarian and essential workers (non-national) will be allowed to enter the country. Truck drivers entering the country are subject to testing and mandatory, supervised quarantine for a period of 14 days.
- Returning residents, citizens, and travelers will be subject to mandatory, supervised quarantine for a period of 14 days.
- Travelers are required to present a negative coronavirus disease COVID-19 test obtained within the previous 72 hours prior to boarding a flight. Travelers must also fill in a health declaration form.
- Domestic air travel can continue in adherence to social distancing protocols.
- Intercity travel is allowed without restriction.
- Road (bus and car) travel can continue with restrictions on the number of persons in a vehicle.
Local authorities may reintroduce restrictions based on assessments of disease activity in the area. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.
Background and Analysis
Namibia is one of several governments in the region seeking to reduce movement-restrictive measures and allow economic activity to resume on a greater scale. Namibian authorities envisage a four-stage approach. Authorities plan to incrementally reduce movement and travel restrictions at each stage. It remains possible that an increase in cases could lead the government to adjust its approach and reintroduce stringent measures.
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.
Follow all official instructions. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers. 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.