Global Level 4 Do Not Travel Health Advisory Still in Effect
The US State Department (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/travel-advisory-alert-global-level-4-health-advisory-issue.html) continues to advise US citizens not to travel abroad due to the continued global impact of COVID-19. An entire page on the Travel State website is dedicated the Global Level 4 advisory.
Likewise, the Government of Canada (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html?topic=tilelink) also advises citizens to avoid all non-essential travel abroad.
Anyone still abroad is advised to find any commercial departure options still available and return home immediately unless prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. Many countries have closed their borders and implemented mandatory quarantines. Those that have not may do so at any moment with little advance notice.
Many airlines have cancelled international flights. Border closures are subject to change and deadlines may be extended. Anyone with a booking in the near future should contact their operator to discuss possible options and watch developments closely. The situation continues to be very fluid.
Botswana Restricts Entry from Foreign Nationals of Countries Affected by COVID-19
The Government of Botswana has implemented strict control measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within its borders. Visitors from countries with active COVID-19 cases are denied entrance. Also, citizens and residents returning from affected countries must quarantine for 14 days upon return. Social distancing is the order of the day, including school closures, restrictions on social gatherings and duration of funerals, and restrictions on non-essential travel.
Due to these restrictions, the launch of the hunting season for international hunters has seen numerous cancelations and postponements, with severe consequences for the resurging hunting industry and the communities anticipating income and meat. If the crisis continues for more than three months, the hunting season will be too short to market the full quotas and accommodate all the hunts. The Botswana Wildlife Producers Association is working with the Wildlife Department on options, including a possible extension to the season. Hunters with booked safaris should contact their safari operator to arrange possible backup plans.
Namibia Implements Worldwide Travel Ban through Late April
On March 24, President of Namibia Hage G. Geingob extended the ban on travel into that country to all foreign nationals for 30 days. Where the previous ban was only for specific nations with active COVID-19 outbreaks, the most recent ban extends to all countries around the world. Namibians have been asked to shelter in place and a 21-day travel restriction for the Khomas and Erongo regions is in force from March 27 to April 16, 2020. NAPHA (http://www.napha-namibia.com/home/) offices are closed, but staff is working from home and available by email and cell phone.
Zimbabwe Closes Borders; Tourism Industry Sees 70-90% Cancellation Rates
President of Zimbabwe Emerson Mnangagwa declared a state of emergency in mid-March and yesterday closed the country’s borders to all but essential traffic. All returning citizens and residents are subject to a 21-day quarantine and must also produce a certificate stating they are COVID-19 free when coming from countries affected by the novel corona virus.
All bars, night clubs, swimming pools and sporting facilities have been closed and open markets may be closed as well. Zimbabweans are being asked to shelter at home and non-essential staff are to work from home. Health security personnel have been deployed to monitor places where people typically gather, including water sources.
Zimbabwe’s tourism industry has seen significant cancellation rates, with photographic camps losing 70 to 90% of bookings and hunting operations suffering almost 100% in cancellations and postponements.
Mozambique Suspends Visas for All Foreign Nationals
This week President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi announced restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in that country after more than 200 cases were announced in neighboring South Africa and Zimbabwe. Immediately, issuance of visas to foreigners has been suspended, and those already issued were cancelled. Mozambicans arriving from other countries are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Public and private schools have been closed, and public gatherings of 50 people or more suspended.
Zambia Implements Restrictions and Quarantines
Zambian Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya has implemented a restriction of all non-essential travel by Zambians and mandatory screenings of all international travelers at points of entry. All international passengers are being screened and those from high risk countries will be placed under mandatory quarantine for 14 days. Anyone with symptoms or suspected of having been exposed to COVID-19 will also be quarantined.
South Africa Implements Lockdown
South Africa has closed all non-essential businesses and is requiring citizens to remain at home, except for those working in critically necessary services (such as food supplies, utilities) and enabling services that assist in the COVID-19 response. Legally registered counter-poaching and security companies are considered essential businesses and will continue to safeguard wildlife assets in the country. PHASA ()https://phasa.co.za/ has closed its offices during the lockdown, but staff will be available by email.
Other Hunting Countries with Closed Borders or Mandatory Quarantines:
-Congo (Republic of)
-United Arab Emirates