Seven days tourist isolation protocol removed
By Frieda Imbili
International tourists are no longer required to spend 7 days at one facility as per the amendment implementation protocols for the international tourism revival initiative announced recently.
According to the amended protocols, tourists intending to spend less than five days at a pre-booked facility, can proceed to the next destination, provided they should be available on day five (5) for swabbing wherever they find themselves.
The amendment further provides that tourists must be reachable on day seven (7) to receive the results of the swabbing.
In case where result is negative, the tourist is released from any surveillance and when i positive the tourist will be isolated at an identified facility by the Ministry of Health and Social Services and treated at their own cost.
Announcing the amendments, Pohamba Shifeta, environment, forestry and tourism minister, said, the amendments are aimed at removing restrictions that are making it difficult for the tourism industry to secure tourists to visit Namibia under the Tourism Revival initiative which commenced from 1st September 2020.
He emphasized that, since the start of the initiative the industry has not seen any new bookings and in fact has had net cancellations which have resulted in N$ 115.7 million being withdrawn from the country.
According to Shifeta, this has prompted a rethink in the approach also considering the competitive nature of the tourism sector. He noted that, other countries in the southern Africa has opened up for tourism with less restrictions putting Namibia at a disadvantage.