The first flight of the Xi'an-Istanbul direct air route arrives at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Dec. 30, 2019. Three round trips operated by Turkish Airlines are expected to be made between Xi'an and Istanbul, with inbound flights on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and outbound ones on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. (Xinhua/Shao Rui)

Namibia planned to open its flagship international Airport, Hosea Kutako International Airport, to leisure travelers and tourists from September 1, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta said Tuesday.

The move is meant to breathe life into the country’s tourism industry battered financially by the COVID-19 pandemic which has stopped inbound travels from March.

According to Shifeta the implementation of the international traveling into Namibia will be accompanied by very strict COVID-19 health guidelines.

Among some of the new regulations for entry is that entry to the country will only be allowed via Hosea Kutako International Airport.

“All travelers must present a negative PCR test result, not older than 72 hours before boarding the plane and to be allowed to enter Namibia,” he said.

“All travelers will be required to stay for 7 days at their first tourist facility of booking, which must be duly registered with the Namibia Tourism Board and certified by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.”

The Namibian minister also added that tourists must proceed directly to their first accommodation from the airport and no overnight or stopovers are permitted.

All tourism establishments must observe the general health and safety protocols as stipulated by the Ministry of Health and Social Services, and detailed COVID-19 protocols for all operations in the tourism sector have been put in place by the Namibia Tourism Board.

“All tourism and hospitality establishments, facilities and enterprises must prior to receiving guests obtain a health certification license/permit in compliance with the provision of the protocols for the international tourism revival initiative,” he said.

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