Press Release from Namibia’s Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism
Subject: Hospitality and Tourism Sectors allowed to Operate
The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism wishes to clarify that as of the 5th May 2020 when the country entered the Stage 2 of the COVID 19 State of Emergency, all productive activities are allowed to operate with strict health measures. The tourism and hospitality are included in this category of productive activities.
Tourism operations, specifically accommodation establishments, guesthouses, bed-andbreakfast, lodges, pack packers, campsites, restaurants and transport are allowed to operate.
The specific regulations are still to be gazzetted, however we encourage the sector to in the main time observe social distancing and hygiene protocols already in place.
Restaurants and food outlets must not have seating clients but rather take-home orders. In accordance with Stage 2 restrictions, alcohol may not be served in any restaurant or accommodation establishment. 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, so that in the long-term, confidence in Namibia as a destination for future travel is maintained.
The Ministry is working together with public and private stakeholders to ensure that there is constant dialogue to ensure that the post lock down phases address current economic and health realities and that up-to-date restrictions are implemented smoothly. In addition the Ministry shall work with all stakeholders to uphold that Namibia remains a tourism destination of choice after the pandemic.
The Ministry is also dedicated to doing its utmost to ensure that the tourism and hospitality sector is part of the government’s economic stimulus or rescue plans considering massing revenue losses in the sector. The ongoing job losses in the tourism and hospitality sectors are regrettable and concerning to the Ministry.
The Ministry also wishes to inform the Public that the country’s national parks are open, and we urge Namibians to visit our remarkable parks as a way to support the country’s tourism sector during this difficult time.
The private sector is also actively packaging special packages for Namibians in order to promote domestic tourism.
Tourism is everyone’s business and now is the time for the people of the land of the brave to stand together and assist Destination Namibia.
Chief Public Relations Officer/ Spokesperson