Namibia: Guidelines for Stage 3 Under State of Emergency

Journalists question President Geingob and other Namibian officials during a media briefing on COVID-19 in Windhoek (screen shot).
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Windhoek — The Guidelines for Stage 3 Under State of Emergency announced by Minister of Health and Social Services Kalumbi Shangula during a media briefing.

1.    The next level of migration for Namibia
1.1    On Monday the 1st June 2020 at 23:59, 14 regions, with the exception of the Walvis Bay Local Authority Area, will transition from STAGE 2 to STAGE 3, until 29 June 2020, for a period of 28 days or two Covid-19 incubation periods.
1.2    Due to recent epidemiological developments, Walvis Bay Local Authority Area will revert to STAGE 1 from the 2nd June 2020 to the 8th June 2020 (7 days).
1.3    The observance period will be monitored on a weekly basis and may be extended, subject to changes in the country epidemiological situation.

READ: Statement President Geingob on The Migration To Stage 3 of The State Of Emergency on Account Of COVID-19

2.    Standard Health and Hygiene Guidelines
A relaxation in restrictions requires heightened vigilance and responsibility at a personal, community and organisational levels. The public is urged to adhere to the following guidelines:
2.1    Continue Social Distancing protocols of at least 1.5 meters between persons, to minimize the potential risk of infection.
2.2    Each person is required to wear a facemask, as defined in the Regulations, when using both private and public transport, shopping, outdoor group exercise, public spaces and at the workplace.
2.3    Increase hygiene interventions, e.g. public hand washing utilities and consumables, including installation of sanitizer equipment within public and work places.
2.4    Increase cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces including public transport and all public facilities including schools, buses, play park equipment, shared water access points, public restrooms among others.
2.5    Anyone with symptoms of a dry cough, high fever and shortness of breath should avoid public places and rather call the Toll-Free Number 0800-100-100 or 911 or consult a health facility or community health worker to be advised on what to do.
2.6    Businesses are required to keep a register of customers, recording the time of patronage, full name and contact details, to assist with possible contact tracing.
2.7    The public is urged to cooperate with authorities in maintaining the health of the population.

Measures under STAGE 3
These measures are applicable to 14 regions with exception of the Walvis Bay Local Authority Area.

3.    Education
3.1    Early Childhood Development, Primary, Secondary Schools and Vocational Training Providers to resume face-to-face medium of instruction, with daily screening of learners/students.
3.2    Any learner/student or staff displaying COVID-19 related symptoms should stay home and alert the school health authority. The school authority should immediately inform the local health authority for intervention.
3.3    School-feeding scheme to resume.
3.4    The resumption of face-to-face instruction will be phased in as follows:
COMMENCEMENT DATE    GRADES
22 - 29 May 2020    Mid-Term Break for Teachers
3 June - 18 December 2020    Grades 11 and 12
8 June 2020 - 18 December 2020    Vocational Training Providers
22 June – 18 December 2020    Pre-Primary to Grade 3
6 July-18 December 2020    Grades 7 and 9
20 July-18 December 2020    Grades 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10

4.    Points of Entry
4.1. Closure of all points of entry and comprehensive restrictions on  cross  border movement of persons will remain in force, with exception of the transportation of imported goods. Repatriated Nationals to submit to mandatory, government supervised quarantine upon arrival.

5.    Public gatherings
Public gatherings  during this  period  shall  not  exceed  50 persons.    This includes weddings, funerals and religious gatherings.

6.    The Ministry of Health and Social Services has developed measures to address the risk of cross border importation and spread of COVID-19 into the country, with particular focus on truck drivers.
6.1.    Truck drivers are to adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures for designated supervised points, namely, border points, truck ports and depots, fueling stations, banks and quarantine facilities, in line with regional SADC protocols.
6.2.    A mandatory test will be conducted by the Namibian Government each time, upon arrival. The truck driver will be permitted to proceed to final destination, pending test result outcome. Upon arrival at destination, all truck drivers, both Namibian and non- Namibians are to be subjected to mandatory, Government supervised quarantine for the duration of their stay in Namibia.
6.3.    All drivers arriving in Namibia will be screened, tested on arrival and quarantined for not less than 14 days. A second test will be conducted towards the end of this period.
6.4.    Truck Operators are to submit deviation reports from the satellite tracking systems, to law enforcement agencies, within 72 hours of occurrence.
6.5.    Logistic/Transport industry is encouraged to pursue Truck Driver Relay System.

7.    Vulnerability
7.1.    Employers are encouraged to allow employees in vulnerable conditions/categories as defined in the Regulations, to continue working from home as far as feasible.
7.2.    Vulnerable Persons are encouraged to observe specified shopping hours.
7.3.    Face to face visits to Old Age Homes are suspended. Caretakers to wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.
7.4.    The public is encouraged to observe measures to limit exposure of persons in vulnerable conditions or categories, as far as possible.
7.5.    The distribution of the Old Age Social Grant to be conducted in accordance with strict Social Distancing protocols.

8.    Businesses
The following businesses will be permitted to resume activities under STAGE 3, subject to the Health & Hygiene Guidelines stipulated under Section 2 above, and in fulfilling the following additional requirements:

Restaurants, Cafes & Kapana Traders
8.1.    These businesses may reopen for sit down dining, in adherence to the Directives of the Liquor Act and the Operational Guidelines as provided by Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade (MIT)), stipulating the number of persons permitted inside an establishment per square meter.
8.2.    Restaurants may only open for pre-booked customers, no walk-in clients permitted. This provision does not apply to informal traders. The public is reminded to avoid sharing public pens in completing Customer Registers.
8.3.    Food/buffets in restaurants should only be handled by service staff.

Liquor Outlets, Shebeens, Bars
8.4.    Businesses may operate under normal working hours but limit the sale of alcohol to 12:00-18:00, Monday-Saturday as per the Directives on the Liquor Act. No sale of alcohol permitted on Sundays.
8.5.    The buying and selling of alcohol is only permitted for takeaway.
8.6.    Consumption of alcohol is only permitted in private dwelling but not in public.
8.7.    Only holders of a valid Liquor License will be permitted to operate.
8.8.    Adhere to the Operational Guidelines as provided by MIT stipulating the number of persons permitted inside an establishment per square meter.

Theatres, cinemas, libraries, galleries, theatres, museums, craft centers
8.9.    These are permitted to reopen, subject to adherence to the Operational Guidelines as provided by Ministry of Industrialization and Trade stipulating the number of persons permitted inside an establishment per square meter.

Gyms and exercise centers
9.10.    Permitted to reopen, subject to adherence to the Operational Guidelines as provided by Ministry of Industrialization and Trade stipulating the number of persons permitted inside an establishment per square meter.
9.11.    Adhere to strict hygiene measures, including cleaning and disinfecting equipment after every use.

Entertainment events, Seminars, Conferences, Workshops & Summits
9.12.    These are permitted to resume, subject to adherence to the Public Gathering limit and the Health & Hygiene protocols.

Sporting events & activities
9.13.    These are permitted to resume with exception of contact sports as defined in the Regulations, subject to adherence to the Public Gathering limit and the Health & Hygiene protocols.

Nightclubs, Gambling houses & Casinos.
10.    These activities remain high-risk and will not be permitted to resume activity during STAGE 3.

11.    Penalties of violating above Regulations
11.1.    Non-compliance with Regulations is a punishable offense. For truck operators the penalty may include suspension of the operating license.
11.2.    The penalty for violating Stage 3 Regulations is a spot fine of N$2,000 or arrest.

12.    MEASURES FOR WALVIS BAY LOCAL AUTHORITY AREA

12.1.    His Excellency the President has just announced the lockdown of Walvis Bay Local Authority Area. You may recall that Case No 21 and Case No 22 are all from Walvis Bay. These two cases have primary contacts of more than 100 between them. The extent of secondary contacts remains unknown. It is for this reason that, while the rest of the country migrates to Stage 3, out of abundance of caution, a special dispensation is introduced for Walvis Bay Local Authority Area. As part of this special dispensation, the following interventions are instituted:

12.1.1.    Restrictive measures that were instituted for Stage 1 as per Proclamation No 9, State of Emergency – Covid-19 Regulations will apply, to the whole of Walvis Bay Local Authority Area. These include the following:
•    Closure of Schools and Higher Education institutions;
•    Prohibition of public gatherings of more than 10 people;
•    Prohibition relating to travel and permit requirement;
•    Quarantine;
•    Restriction on movement of persons;
•    Critical services;
•    Prohibition relating to sale of alcohol; and
•    Prohibition relating to certain operations and closure of certain businesses amongst others.

13.    I wish to emphasize that these measures are being implemented to prevent the possible further spread of CIVD-19 in the Walvis Bay Local Authority Area and beyond. The approach is consistent with the National COVID-19 Exit Strategy, which provides for localized responses to contain and suppress the spread of COCID-19 in our country.

14.    I wish to re-emphasize that the measures recommended to be introduced and implemented for the Walvis Bay Local Authority Area are premised on the following ground:
14.1.    Both cases have extensive contacts with the wider members of the public;
14.2.    A considerable amount of time passed between the time they were infected and the time they were isolated;
14.3.    A lockdown period will ensure the suppression of possible transmission;
14.4.    Walvis Bay is a major destination for travelers from high risk countries.

15.    Experience has shown that more cases are recorded after the easing of restrictions as people celebrate the new-found freedom. We must guard against this temptation as this can easily erode the achievements were have scored. We are called upon to continue to cooperate and observe the measures that are in place for our own health safety and health benefits. Going forward, the Ministry of Health and Social Services shall continue to strengthen surveillance; upscale expanded targeted testing; conduct prudent case management; strengthen and enforce preventive measures and finally promote international solidarity.

16.    Finally, I thank Your Excellency for exceptional leadership, support and guidance you have provided and continue to provide. I thank the Right Honourable Prime Minister and Cabinet Colleagues for the hard work. I commend the response team for commitment and dedication and the public for cooperation. The media has assisted us in conveying correct and credible information to the public. I ask Namibians to have confidence in our institutions, systems and processes. These are recipe for our success.

More From: Government of Namibia

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