Zambian President Edgar Lungu has announced the immediate reopening of the country’s air borders and airports, which have been closed since the lockdown to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The decision was made to encourage tourists to return in an attempt to revive the economy. Domestic carriers are now able to operate, although it is not clear if any international airlines will also resume operations.
“We have to get back to work, including in the tourism sector. I am therefore announcing the immediate reopening of all international airports,” said Lungu, in an address that was broadcast on radio and television.
The President promised to put in place strict health control measures to avoid relaunching the spread of COVID-19.
He said the relevant ministers would be directed to work together to ensure stringent health guidelines such as testing passengers with symptoms, social distancing and follow-ups on passengers who tested positive and sending them into quarantine until they tested negative.
Zambia joins Tanzania and Rwanda as one of the first African countries to reopen air borders.