Namibia plans to re-open its borders under a Stage 5 reopening strategy on September 18, 2020. President Dr. Hage G. Geingob announced the reopening target date during a press conference on June 22, where he also announced that 13 of 14 regions in Namibia will move from Stage 3 restrictions to Stage 4 on Monday, June 29, 2020. Stage 3 requires moderate precautions, while Stage 4 provides for relaxed precautions, including wearing face masks and practicing social distancing in public.
Stage 4 will be in effect for a 10-week period from June 30 to September 17, 2020. Under Stage 4, anyone entering the country (whether Namibian or foreign national) must submit to a COVID-19 test upon arrival and a mandatory government-supervised quarantine at the traveler’s expense.
Between July 15 and August 15, the government is collaborating with the tourism and hospitality industry to conduct a limited international tourism “revival initiative” that will allow the entry of a limited number of international tourists. The visitors will be from a carefully selected low risk market with the potential to contribute most to the country’s tourism sector. The details of the limited initiative will be announced in the coming weeks and will be used to inform the development of the eventual reopening of Namibia’s borders under Stage 5. For now, the ports of entry remain closed, except for commercial imports.
The only region in Namibia that remains under more stringent restrictions is Erongo, which recently saw an uptick in COVID-19 cases and was put back under Stage 1 lockdown on June 8. The area was moved back to Stage 3 on June 22 and will remain at that level at least until midnight July 6. Erongo lies in central-western Namibia making up part of the country’s shoreline with the Atlantic Ocean and is home to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.
More details on the tourism revival initiative will follow. Check back in early July for any available information, or contact SCI’s Hunter Information Service at safariclub.org/contact.