Namibian President Hage Geingob has announced new measures and restrictions in an effort to contain the threat of Covid-19.
The restrictions will be in force until June 15 2021.
The Head of State said that the restriction of movement into and out of the Windhoek-Okahandja-Rehoboth Local Authority Areas during the last two weeks have helped to contain the spread of the disease to other parts of the country.
“However, data confirms that the entire country is now characterized by ‘Widespread Community Transmission’. In order to suppress further transmission of the virus, we are taking the difficult but necessary measure to extend the restriction in travel, to all regions. No travel will be permitted between regions, however travel within regions, will be permitted,” President Geingob said.
Returning residents, essential service providers, emergency medical cases and transportation of human remains for burial purposes, will be permitted entry and exit into restricted regions, with the relevant permit.
“I have always reiterated that the Health of Namibians remains the first priority and a balance must therefore be found in protecting life and livelihoods. While a full social and economic lockdown is proven to be effective in slowing transmission rates, it must be used sparingly, as it also spurs adverse effects to economy, business jobs and livelihoods.”
Apart from locking down the movement of people from one region to another, the President announce also the following measures:
- Public Gatherings as defined in the Regulations will be maintained at ten (10) persons per event.
- The Curfew shall remain in force, however will be brought forward to commence from 21:00 to 04:00, daily.
- Education: a. All public and private schools (pre-primary up to grade 9), including Early Childhood Development Centres are currently on a special Winter Holiday until 26 July 2021. b. Face-to-Face classes for Grades 10, 11 and 12 will be suspended countrywide, as part of the Winter Holiday, from the 1st until 16 July 2021. c. Face-to-Face classes for Higher Education Institutions including Vocational Education Training Providers are also suspended for the period. All examinations for tertiary students will be undertaken online.
- Restrictions related to liquor: The sale of liquor is restricted from 09:00 to 18:00, Mondays to Thursdays, on take-away basis only, with exception of hospitality establishments such as guesthouses, hotels and similar establishments where residing guests may access on-site amenities. No alcohol outlet will be permitted to operate on Fridays to Sundays.
- All food establishments are to serve food on take-way basis only, including restaurants, food vendors and kapana traders.
- Hair Dressers, Tailors, Beauty Parlors will remain open, subject to strict adherence to Public Health Regulations. Not more than ten (10) persons will be permitted inside an establishment, at a time, and all persons must comply with the mandatory wearing of face masks and maintain physical distance of 1.5 meters or more.
- Under the circumstances, Gambling Houses, Night Clubs, Gyms & Sports Clubs, public recreational spaces including playgrounds and swimming pools are all deemed to be high-risk and will not be permitted to operate.
- Sports: All contact sports as defined in the Regulations, remain prohibited. For noncontact sports, no spectators will be permitted at live events.
- Passenger Restrictions: a. All road and air public transport operators will not be permitted to travel between regions, including long-haul operators and aircraft; b. Within regions, motorists may only load passengers to half the capacity of the motor vehicle. c. A special dispensation for tourists will be put in place. Further details will follow.
- Burials: Burials will be revised to take place within ten (10) days.
“Fellow Namibians, During this dark and sombre moment in our country’s history, I call on all Namibians to uphold faith over fear, to show kindness, solidarity and compassion, and to cooperate with the authorities.
“As I have stated, winning this war requires all of us to make sacrifices and for that, I thank all Namibians for their cooperation.
“Fellow Namibians, we are faced with a period of great difficulty but by showing the strength of our character, by showing a resilience against this unprecedented challenge, we shall overcome. Let us rise to the occasion and overcome COVID-19 with passion, sacrifice and struggle,” the Head of State concluded.