Uncertainty still plagues tourism

Efforts to revive the corona-hit tourism industry are being hampered by official confusion about regulations for visitors.

02 October 2020 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

Exactly a month since Namibia opened its borders to international tourists in an effort rebuild the devastated tourism industry, there is more confusion than ever on how processes work.

Since then several Government Gazettes have been issued, each saying a different thing on how tourists will be handled when entering the country, testing for the coronavirus and quarantine processes.

These documents have also not mentioned the Tourism Revival Initiative in accordance with which tourists were supposed to enter the country.

This confusion has been carried over to international airlines and overseas embassies, resulting in international tourists receiving the incorrect information.

No feedback

While the media have questioned these contradictions, especially as South Africa opened its borders yesterday, there has not yet been solid feedback from either the health ministry or the tourism ministry in this regard. Tourism ministry spokesman Romeo Muyunda has promised a statement to clarify the issues raised for some time now, but said on Wednesday that the Tourism Revival Working Group had met that afternoon and that a clarification could soon be expected.

Meanwhile, the health ministry has promised to share today how many tourists have been tested for the coronavirus since borders opened.

However, tourists say when they phoned the coronavirus health centres for information, there was surprise that they were not in quarantine.

Testing, quarantine

According to the protocols of the Tourism Survival Initiative, international tourists may proceed to their pre-booked destinations in Namibia upon their arrival in the country and will not be quarantined.

Tourists will then be swabbed for the coronavirus on day five wherever they find themselves in the country. They must also be available to receive the results on day seven.

But, while the protocol says tourists must be in possession of a coronavirus test not older than 72 hours, the Government Gazette published on September 23 says the test result should not older than seven days.

There is also confusion about returning Namibians who are quarantined for seven days after arriving at Hosea Kutako Airport – while tourists are not quarantined.

A revised Government Gazette published on 29 September does not address these problems.

A circular from the international relations ministry was sent out to all heads of diplomatic missions on 25 September, outlining new regulations after the expiry of the coronavirus state of emergency.

According to this circular these regulations came into effect on 24 September and will cease on 21 October.

“Namibians who are not able to obtain a negative SARS-COV PCT test result are not obliged to provide such upon arrival and will be tested during the quarantine period in Namibia,” the circular stated.

It said persons entering Namibia do not need to inform Namibian diplomatic missions 14 days in advance, as airlines are informing the health and tourism ministries.

This circular further said that all persons need to quarantine at own cost, while Namibians had the option of self-quarantine.

Similar News

 

Faithfully determined

1 day - 30 October 2020 | Tourism

Mariselle Stofberg Cinderella Tjihoreko’s success in her career has shown great perseverance, determination and commitment and speaks towards the power of the right mindset and...

Expo a boost for tourism after Covid-19 lockdown

2 days ago - 29 October 2020 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKDespite the difficulties the tourism industry has been facing because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Namibia Tourism Expo was launched yesterday.The tourism expo, which...

Hope sparked for real tourism revival

4 days ago - 27 October 2020 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe Hospitality Association of Namibia (Han) says the relaxed Covid-19 travel measures, which came into effect last week, have the potential to spark a...

Top ten places to visit in Namibia.

4 days ago - 27 October 2020 | Tourism

Staff ReporterNamibia, a country in the southwestern region of Africa, is distinguished by the Namib Desert – the oldest desert of the world – along...

NWR thrown N$40m lifeline

5 days ago - 26 October 2020 | Tourism

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK The Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) has received a N$40 million...

Traditional crafts provide an essential income

1 week ago - 22 October 2020 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe selling of traditional crafts by conservancies to tourists is an essential income for community members.However, this sector has suffered along with all sectors...

FNB supports Namibia Tourism Expo 2020

2 weeks ago - 16 October 2020 | Tourism

First National Bank is contributing N$250 000 towards an initiative by Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) through which accommodation vouchers to the combined value of N$1...

Gondwana boss decries WHO health protocols

2 weeks ago - 15 October 2020 | Tourism

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKTourism boss Gys Joubert has decried the World Health Organisation’s health protocols in a letter to United Nations secretary-general António Guterres.Joubert is the CEO...

Four land borders open

2 weeks ago - 15 October 2020 | Tourism

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKThe home affairs ministry has announced that four land border posts will be open for entry into Namibia with immediate effect, following chaos that...

Recovery of tourism sector a priority

2 weeks ago - 15 October 2020 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The recovery of the tourism sector, which has been the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, will be...

Latest News

Agra recovers from dry profit...

1 day - 30 October 2020 | Business

A N$56-million increase in revenue from contracts with customers helped to boost Agra Limited's operating profit for its past financial year by nearly 7% to...

Okonjo-Iweala closer to making history

1 day - 30 October 2020 | Economics

Key WTO ambassadors have tapped Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the best pick to lead the organisation, but she was opposed by the United States. Washington...

How SME businesses can be...

1 day - 30 October 2020 | People

Johanna Kambala 1. Where to find tender opportunitiesThere are various procurement methods identified in the PPA, hence the type of procurement method will determine...

Going back to her roots

1 day - 30 October 2020 | People

Michelline NawatisesSybil Somaes is the managing director of Compli-Serve Namibia, based in Windhoek and has experience primarily spent in Namibian financial services. She was instrumental...

Saints and sinners

1 day - 30 October 2020 | Education

KENYA KAMBOWESHAMBYULearners at one of the top schools in the country, St Boniface College in the Kavango East Region, have described the school’s principal, Mary...

PDM MPs face the chop...

1 day - 30 October 2020 | Politics

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKSix Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) members are facing an exit from the National Assembly after the Supreme Court closed a matter in which the...

Tiaan Langenegger

1 day - 30 October 2020 | Art and Entertainment

YANDI DU PLESIS WINDHOEK While South African chef Tiaan Langenegger first made headlines in 2013 when he was crowned the co-winner...

The importance of domestic travel

1 day - 30 October 2020 | People

Michelline NawatisesThe property connoisseurs and award-winning travel bloggers, Lisette and Liselle So-Oabes, share their knowledge in a question-and-answer about travelling.The travel bug bit the two...

Bumper grape harvest expected

1 day - 30 October 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe strong growth experienced in the grape sector will not be sufficient to balance the effect of the weak performance of the livestock sector.Therefore,...

Load More