Booze taps to open

Walvis stays dry

29 May 2020 | Local News



Alcohol is set flow in Namibia after midnight on 1 June, with the exception of Walvis Bay.

The harbour town, where two coronavirus patients came into contact with about 100 people recently, will revert to a full coronavirus lockdown, which includes travelling restrictions and no alcohol sales, until at least 8 June. The rest of the country moves to stage three, during which bars and shebeens will allowed to operate from 12:00 until 18:00 from Mondays to Saturdays. Nightclubs, gambling houses and casinos, which are deemed high risk, will not be allowed to resume activities.

100 possibly infected

Walvis Bay's dog-boxing comes as the town staggers under two recent coronavirus cases. It was revealed yesterday during a State House media conference that the two coastal patients came into contact with at least 100 Walvis Bay residents before they were diagnosed with the coronavirus.

President Hage Geingob yesterday announced that given these developments, Walvis Bay is now back to stage one for the next 28 days.

“This strict but necessary restriction on the movement of people is needed to ascertain the extent of possible spread of the disease. The few days also enable the public health sector to identify, trace and test those who have come into contact with the two confirmed cases,” he said.

According to health minister Kalumbi Shangula, this decision was taken out of an abundance of caution as the extent of secondary contacts of the cases remains unknown.

This means schools and colleges at Walvis Bay will be closed and no more than 10 people will be allowed to gather, while no one will be allowed to travel in or out of the region.

“A lockdown period will ensure the suppression of possible transmission and we all know that Walvis Bay is a major destination for travellers from high-risk countries,” Shangula said.

Open Sesame

Meanwhile, across the rest of the country liquor outlets, shebeens and bars may operate under normal working hours but may only sell alcohol between 12:00 and 18:00 from Monday to Saturday, while no sales will be allowed on Sundays. However, alcohol can only be bought for take-away purposes and must be consumed at home.

Theatres, cinemas, libraries, galleries, museums and craft centres are also allowed to open as long as they adhere to social distancing and precautionary measures. Gyms and lifestyle centres have also been given the green light, along with strict hygiene precautionary measures. Namibians are allowed to resume entertainment events, conferences, workshops and summits as long as they do not succeed 50 people per gathering, as well as sporting events with the exception of contact sports.

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