National parks, tourism/hospitality establishments now open for locals
As of 05 May, tourism operations, specifically accommodation establishments, guesthouses, bed-and-breakfasts, lodges, pack packers, campsites, restaurants and transport have been allowed to operate, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism reiterated.
The ministry said while the specific regulations are still to be gazetted, the sector is encouraged to in the main time, observe social distancing and hygiene protocols already in place. This means restaurants and food outlets must not have seating clients but rather take-home orders and in accordance with Stage 2 restrictions, alcohol may not be served in any restaurant or accommodation establishment.
However, Romeo Muyunda, spokesperson of the ministry said the opening of casinos, gambling houses and bars is strictly prohibited at this stage since they are contact activities, and contact traceability cannot be guaranteed.
“The ministry understands and recognizes that since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourism and hospitality sector has been particularly hard hit. The sector is suffering significant losses in income and the country is losing revenue and employment opportunities; however, in the short term, restrictions are critical to ensure the health of Namibians,” Muyunda said.
Muyunda noted that the ministry is working together with public and private stakeholders to ensure that travel is maintained. The country’s national parks are also open.