THE health regulations that were in effect since the end of February, have been changed slightly by the Namibian Government.
The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, said that Namibia has demonstrated some resilience towards the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year.
“We have demonstrated that when we stand together, we are able to overcome any obstacle, however formidable it may be. COVID-19 was declared a formidable epidemic. It came with ferocious speed, leaving precious little time to prepare. However, our people, especially the frontline health workers rose to the occasion. They worked long hours, day and night on weekdays, on weekends, and during holidays. Their hard work made sure that the pandemic did not overwhelm our country. Indeed, these compatriots have recorded and achieved commendable successes that our nation must be proud of,” he said.
He said COVID-19 remains a real threat to the health and lives of Namibians and therefore, Namibians should not let their guard down.
“We cannot lower our defences. This is especially true as we approach the Easter long weekend and the coming winter season,” he said.
He said Namibia has fared reasonably well in terms of preparing for and responding to the pandemic.
“We were able to put in place the required physical infrastructure, procure medical equipment and Personal Protective Equipment, hire health professionals and other personnel, both in temporary and permanent positions, provide public education and bring onboard various stakeholders to contribute to this important national effort,” he said.
According to Dr. Shangula, the number of new infections remains high, and that infections are being reported on a daily basis from all regions of the country. He added that the Basic Reproductive Ratios indicate that COVID-19 transmission in our communities is continuing to spread and calls for greater vigilance and compliance from every person.
He announced slight changes to the health regulations and said that the curfew will remain as is.
The number of people that will be allowed to attend a public gathering has been increased to 100.
Children younger than the age of five are not obligated to wear masks in public.
Bars and similar outlets will be allowed to sell liquor until 22:00. The sale of alcohol on Sundays is still prohibited.
Returning Namibian citizens or Permanent Residence Permit holders with a valid De-isolation Certificate from the Government of the country of departure will not be subjected to quarantine upon entry, despite the status of results. Non Namibians must present a negative PCR or antigen test result.
Namibian studying abroad will be exempt from paying for COVID-19 tests upon entry or departure. Proof to this effect must be provided.
Frequent travellers returning within three days following their departure from Namibia are allowed to re-enter the country using the negative SARS COV-2 PCR or Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Test (AgRDT) test result they used on departure.
However, a returning frequent traveller who spends more than three days outside Namibia will be required to present either a SARS-CoV2 PCR or AgRDT negative test result, without which such traveller will be subject to quarantine.
The embalming of human remains of persons who died of notifiable infectious diseases for transportation purposes is allowed provided that it is done by a trained person and provided that all infection control measures are in place.
The new regulations will lapse at midnight on 30 April this year.