Namibia: Open borders for tourists in the spotlight


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Dec 18, 2015
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Open borders for tourists in the spotlight

Revival of tourism

The spokesman for the Ministry of the Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Mr. Romeo Muyunda, confirmed to Republican on Monday that strategic discussions between tourism players are continuing on the details of opening the boundaries to tourists.

"A balance must be struck between the economic revival of the tourism industry without posing a health risk to tourists and Namibians," said Muyunda.

"That's why we focus on countries that are at lower risk and the finer details like the quarantine period for foreign tourists."

This follows Monday's announcement that the government, in collaboration with the tourism and hospitality industry, will launch a targeted revitalization initiative for international tourism between July 15 and August 15.

According to the Covid-19 regulations, all Namibians and foreigners entering the country are subject to a Covid-19 test and compulsory quarantine at their own expense.

One of the issues is the quarantine period for tourists.

The director of tourism, Mr. Sem Shikongo, during a panel discussion on national broadcaster NBC on Wednesday night, said no tourist wants to spend 14 days in quarantine during his vacation.

"We need to be calculative about the risk of protecting our people's health, but we need tourists to create jobs and income," he said.


During an exclusive interview this week with Frank Steffen of Tourismus Namibia, the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Pohamba Shifeta said an urgent solution had to be found.

“If tourists are from a Covid-19-free country, we will have to find ways for them to enter the country without the 14-day quarantine. The details have not yet been finalized, but Germany is one of the countries being looked at, ”he said.

The full interview can be viewed on the Namibia Tourism Expo (NTE) Facebook page on Saturday morning.

The CEO of the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB), Mr. Digu // Naobeb, said Namibia must pass the test run, because if borders open and it fails, the country's image will suffer.

// Noabeb also says low-risk tourists will only be able to enter Namibia via direct flights.


The chairman of the Namibian Federation of Tourism Associations (Fenata), Mr. Bernd Schneider, told Republican yesterday that there are still many factors that need clarification.

"In general, it is gratifying to see that the government is on its way to gradually opening up boundaries that are essential for any chance of survival for the industry," he said.

"The mandate is to bring tourists safely, without any health risk to Namibians, and to give the tourism industry a chance to get back on track."

However, Schneider said during the panel discussion: "With too many rules and regulations, foreign tourists will lose interest in visiting the country."

The original version in Afrikaans below:

Oop grense vir toeriste in die kollig

Herlewing van toerisme

Verskeie rolspelers in die toerismesektor is besig met strategiese besprekings om Namibië se grense vir toeriste oop te stel.

Die woordvoerder van die ministerie van die omgewing, bosbou en toerisme, mnr. Romeo Muyunda, het gister aan Republikein bevestig strategiese besprekings tussen rolspelers in die toerismebedryf duur voort oor die besonderhede om die grense vir toeriste oop te stel.

“’n Balans moet gevind word tussen die ekonomiese herlewing van die toerismebedryf sonder dat dit ’n gesondheidsrisiko vir toeriste en Namibiërs inhou,” het Muyunda gesê.

“Daarom word gefokus op lande wat ’n laer risiko het en die fyner besonderhede soos die tydperk van kwarantyn vir buitelandse toeriste.”

Dit volg ná Maandag se aankondiging dat die regering in samewerking met die toerisme- en gasvryheidsbedryf 'n geteikende herlewingsinisiatief vir internasionale toerisme tussen 15 Julie en 15 Augustus gaan uitvoer.

Volgens die Covid-19-regulasies is alle Namibiërs en buitelanders wat die land binnekom, onderhewig aan 'n Covid-19-toets en verpligte kwarantyn op eie onkoste.

Een van die kwessies is die tydperk van kwarantyn vir toeriste.

Die direkteur van toerisme, mnr. Sem Shikongo, het Woensdagaand tydens ’n paneelbespreking op die nasionale uitsaaier NBC gesê geen toeris wil tydens sy vakansie 14 dae in kwarantyn bestee nie.

“Ons moet berekenend wees oor die risiko om ons mense se gesondheid te beskerm, maar ons het toeriste nodig om werksgeleenthede en inkomste te skep,” het hy gesê.


Tydens ’n eksklusiewe onderhoud vandeesweek met Frank Steffen van Tourismus Namibia, het die toerismeminister, mnr. Pohamba Shifeta, gesê ’n dringende oplossing moet gevind word.

“As toeriste van ’n land is wat Covid-19-vry is, sal ons maniere moet vind vir hulle om die land binne te kom sonder die 14 dae kwarantyn. Die besonderhede is nog nie gefinaliseer nie, maar Duitsland is een van die lande waarna gekyk word,” het hy gesê.

Die volledige onderhoud kan Saterdagoggend op die Facebook-blad van Namibia Tourism Expo (NTE) gekyk word.

Die uitvoerende hoof van die Namibië Toerismeraad (NTB), mnr. Digu //Naobeb, het gesê Namibië moet die toetslopie slaag, want as grense oopmaak en dit loop op ’n fiasko uit, sal die land se beeld skade ly.

//Noabeb sê ook toeriste van lae risiko-lande sal slegs via direkte vlugte Namibië kan binnekom.


Die voorsitter van die Namibiese Federasie van Toerismeverenigings (Fenata), mnr. Bernd Schneider, het gister aan Republikein gesê daar is steeds baie faktore waaroor duidelikheid gekry moet word.

“Oor die algemeen is dit verblydend om te sien die regering is op die pad om grense geleidelike oop te maak wat noodsaaklik is vir enige kans van oorlewing vir die bedryf,” het hy gesê.

“Die mandaat is om toeriste veilig, sonder enige gesondheidsrisiko vir Namibiërs in te bring en die toerismebedryf ’n kans te gee om weer op die been te kom.”

Tóg het Schneider tydens die paneelbespreking gesê: “Met te veel reëls en regulasies sal buitelandse toeriste belangstelling verloor om die land te besoek.”


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From my reading, this eliminates any Americans visiting Namibia anytime soon.


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Feb 27, 2015
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Agreed. With 40k cases in one day and 17,000 in my state in past 3 days no way will Americans be let in. Oh well guess my safari will be in 2021


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South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
Thanks for sharing.

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