Thursday, January 21, 2021

Government Relaxes Travel Restrictions, Plans to Reopen Some Non-essential Public Places

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By Nelson Manneh

In a press release issued to Media Houses, the Government of the Gambia said it has relaxed various travel restrictions based on the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. But that all intending travellers to the country are reminded of the State of Public Emergency (SoPE) which effectively expired by midnight on 17th September 2020, when President Adama Barrow subsequently lifted the night curfew; that Government therefore plans to reopen some non-essential public places such as markets throughout the country, regardless of the category of goods traded. The release added that all businesses have since been permitted to reopen with the two-week mandatory quarantine no longer required. However, the release indicate that travellers destined to the Gambia shall show evidence of a negative PCR test result conducted not more seventy hours prior to their arrival and further indicated that isolation is no longer tenable except where the passenger is COVID-positive; that in the light of the forgoing, all airlines and travel agencies are duly notified to begin booking flights to the Gambia and to subject all categories of travellers to the COVI-19 protocols outlined above.

Meanwhile, the press release stated that refurbishment work on the Banjul International Airport (BIA) is near completion and will be officially reopened not later than 31st October 2020.

“All citizens and residents of the Gambia as well as prospective visitors shall adhere to the COVID-19 Guidelines of the Ministry of Health and the WHO protocols governing the Covid-19 pandemic,” the release stated; that a more detailed press release outlining the latest COVID-19 Regulations on the scheduled reopening of bars, restaurants, hotels, gymnasia and swimming pools, will be published early next week.

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