Namibia’s relaxation of the rules comes amid declining COVID-19 infection rates. The wearing of masks in public in Namibia and negative PCR tests for vaccinated visitors are no longer required, President Hage Geingob has said.
Tuesday’s presidential directive came as active COVID-19 cases fell to about 200.
In June 2021, infections peaked at more than 30,000 per month, but the southern African country has averaged 14 cases per day during the last seven days, with the total active cases at 222.
“Wearing of masks in public places is no longer mandatory,” Geingob said in a televised briefing. People in closed spaces such as on public transport or in indoor public meetings were however encouraged to wear masks.
Fully vaccinated travelers to Namibia are also no longer required to produce negative PCR test results. Travellers to the country, famed for its stark desert-meets-ocean-landscape and safari drives, are now only allowed to produce a valid vaccination card at points of entry.
Visitor numbers are currently at a third of pre-pandemic levels, according to Geingob.
Only 21.4% of Namibia’s eligible population of 1.7 million people have been fully vaccinated. The recommended population coverage to achieve national herd immunity is 60%.