Namibia reopens to tourists who can show negative Covid-19 test results

Travellers can only fly into the country's main airport and must spend at least seven nights in their first hotel

Namibia offers travellers a remote wilderness and is one of the best places in southern Africa to spot wildlife. Courtesy Little Kulala / Wilderness Safaris
Namibia offers travellers a remote wilderness and is one of the best places in southern Africa to spot wildlife. Courtesy Little Kulala / Wilderness Safaris

Namibia has reopened to tourists with international flights now operating to and from the country.

From this week, airlines can land at Hosea Kutako International Airport and tourists with negative Covid-19 certificates can visit for a holiday.

Test results must have been issued within 72 hours of a passenger's flight time and all travellers must complete a health questionnaire upon arrival at the airport in Windhoek.

No other airports in the country are accepting international tourists at this point. Temperature scanning will take place upon arrival and passengers showing any symptoms will be tested again for Covid-19 at the airport.

All tourists must also obtain travel insurance that covers medical treatment and unexpected hotel stays and purchase a local mobile number that can be registered with Namibian authorities.

Pre-Covid visa rules continue to apply for entry into the country, with several nationalities able to visit visa-free, or apply for a visa on arrival.

Seven-day 'quarantine'

After arriving in Namibia, tourists must go directly from the airport to a hotel or accommodation that's been approved by the Namibian Tourism Board and certified by the Ministry of Health.

All hotels with this approval have introduced detailed safety measures to ensure travellers' safety. There's no limit to how close the initial accommodation must be to Namibia's main airport, but keep in mind that no stops can be made en route to the destination.

Once there, travellers must stay at least seven days in their first hotel or resort. A second Covid-19 test will be conducted on day five, and results will be returned on day seven. If these are negative, travellers can continue to explore the country and move freely to other hotels, campsites or accommodation.

While travellers must stay in their first accommodation for seven days, they are free to enjoy all the activities and leisure facilities on offer in the resort during this time.

Desert hotels and a wildlife haven

Tourists are welcome to return to Nambia with international flights able to land and depart from Hosea Kutako International Airport. Courtesy Little Kulala / Wilderness Safaris
Tourists are welcome to return to Namibia with international flights able to land and depart from Hosea Kutako International Airport. Courtesy Little Kulala / Wilderness Safaris

Namibia's tourism industry has been battered by travel restrictions imposed both in the country and by other nations around the world to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Officials originally planned to reopen tourism earlier in the year, but a surge in Covid-19 case numbers led to lockdown measures being reimplemented in early August.

Today, the country has more than 7,000 confirmed cases of the virus, including 142 new cases recorded on September 1.

Tourism in Namibia accounts for more than 10 per cent of the GDP, with more than 1.5 million tourists visiting the country in 2018.

The south African nation is regarded as one of the safest countries in Africa and travellers flock here to visit the Namib Desert, one of the oldest in the world. Combining an Atlantic Ocean coastline with expansive desertscapes, towering sand dunes and wildlife-laden safaris, Namibia offers something for everyone and is ready to welcome visitors back again.

Updated: September 2, 2020 02:05 PM

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