WINDHOEK (Reuters) - Namibian schools will be suspended for the second time in four months next week, while limits on public gatherings will be tightened further to 100 from 250 amid surging cases, President Hage Geingob said.
In a televised speech on Friday, Geingob said the decision to suspend schools from Aug. 4 for 28 days came after considering the risks associated with the spread of the virus.
The measure affects early childhood development, pre-primary, primary and the first two grades of high school.
Namibia has 2,129 confirmed cases and 10 deaths with the country’s rate of daily new cases now the fourth highest on the continent following South Africa, Eswatini and Gabon, according to Geingob.
People will also not be allowed to consume alcohol at bars and taverns. They will only be permitted to drink it at home.
Geingob relaxed rules for international tourists, who will no longer be subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival but will be required to present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test conducted 72 hours before arrival.
They will, however, be required to remain at their initial destination in the country for seven days. A test will be conducted during this period and tourists can proceed with their holiday if the result is negative.
Geingob said the aim was to stimulate tourism while safeguarding public health.
“Our experience has taught us that a full lockdown of social and economic activities comes at an equally high premium and cannot be sustained over a prolonged period,” he said.
Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa, editing by Nqobile Dludla and Giles Elgood
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