Namibia lobbies for October ‘red list’ removal

Namibia should expect to be off the United Kingdom ‘red list’ by early October if the Ministry of International Relations (MIRCO) has its way.

This comes as it emerged that the Ministry had engaged the United Kingdom (UK) government officials in Windhoek and London over the continued inclusion of Namibia on the ‘red list’.

“MIRCO engaged the High Commission of the United Kingdom in Windhoek, while the High Commission of Namibia in London is engaged at all levels with the UK Government on this issue. The red list is being reviewed every three weeks and we have good reasons to expect to be taken off the list at the next review at the beginning of October 2021,” MIRCO Executive Director, Penda Naanda said in response to an inquiry from The Brief.

He said MIRCO had been perplexed by the decision of the United Kingdom to keep Namibia on the ‘list’.

“We did not expect that decision; however, we also recognize that the country went through a very difficult time with various lockdowns. At this moment, a new variant, the Beta variant could become a threat, not only to the UK, but to the world. It has become clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health risk, but that it constitutes an existential threat to human security. Against this background every government will try to protect its citizens from the threat of the pandemic to the best of their ability for the sake of national security. So, it is up to each country to establish rules that they believe could protect their citizens,” the MIRCO Executive Director said, adding that the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) has requested MIRCO to engage the UK government on the issue.

The expectation by the Ministry comes as Namibia and South Africa were retained on the restrictive travel list with 62 countries other nations.

Red-list countries are those the UK government says should not be visited "except in the most extreme of circumstances".

Under the UK’s travel rules, travelers who have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days will only be allowed to enter the UK if they are British or Irish nationals or have residence rights in the UK.

These travelers are subject to rigorous Covid testing and have to quarantine at a designated hotel at their own cost.

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Last modified on Sunday, 26 September 2021 09:07

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