We will get corona under control - Mwinga

An economist has predicted that by the end of the year or the first quarter of 2021, Covid-19 will be under control and that borders will be open.

06 August 2020 | Tourism

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



First Capital CEO Martin Mwinga is hopeful that the world will return to normality by the end of the year or within the first quarter of 2021.

“My assumption is that by the end of the year or the first quarter of 2021, Covid-19 is under control and the borders are open,” he said.

Mwinga also said tourism the world over is not expected to recover unless the Covid-19 pandemic is brought under control.

Countries have had to shut their borders to contain the spread of the coronavirus, at the expense of the aviation and tourism sectors, which are largely dependent on travel.

Speaking during a consultative meeting yesterday, Mwinga said economic recovery was unlikely, given that businesses are forced to open and close, depending on the spread of the virus.

He reasoned that, irrespective of the money being put into the tourism sector, certainty that the coronavirus is under control is needed.



No recovery

The same held true for sectors dependent on the opening of borders.

“Unless Covid-19 is under control, you are not in a recovery phase, you are locking down, locking down, locking down,” Mwinga said.

“It needs the borders to be open, it needs guarantees that tourists who come will be safe.”



Borders to open

Namibia's targeted tourism revival plan started this week.

President Hage Geingob, during a Covid-19 update last week, said tourists would not be subjected to mandatory quarantine.

“They will, however, be required to remain at their first destination in the country for a period of seven days.”

According to Geingob, a Covid-19 test will be conducted during this period and the tourists will be permitted to proceed with their holiday on day seven, provided their test result is negative.

He said the modalities have been carefully negotiated to achieve the dual objective of stimulating the tourism sector and safeguarding public health.

“Continuous assessments will be conducted throughout this trial, which will inform and strengthen preparations for the imminent reopening of points of entry under stage five.”

Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta added they have identified low-risk countries such as Germany from which tourists can travel to Namibia.

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