A holiday in Namibia is again possible for vaccinated and recovered Germans without major hurdles. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced to downgrade the land of vastness from virus variants to a high-risk area again (see current list).

Hurdles are falling

This eliminates the quarantine for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered when they return. Unvaccinated people can end the self-isolation after five days with a negative test. Travellers without German citizenship are allowed to enter Germany again. This applies from next Tuesday, 4 January at 0h00.

Germany declared Namibia and its neighbors South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Eswatini (Swaziland) to be virus variant areas at the end of November. Since then, travellers coming from these countries have no longer been allowed to enter. Exception: German citizens. They had to observe a 14-day quarantine, including those who were fully vaccinated or recovered (see an earlier Bush Telegraph news).

Einreise Bestimmungen Deutschland Grafik

Germany’s entry regulations at a glance. Namibia will fall back into the amber category from 4 January 2022 at 0h00. Graph: Federal Government of Germany

Attention: The German government has failed to update its graph until today. The age for the child regulation was lowered to 6 years already some weeks ago (see current regulation – in German).

Wildfire, but only lukewarm

The 7-day incidence is currently similar to that in Germany. Today the figure fell slightly to 219.3. The number of registered infected people rose from 11,805 to 14,617 within one week, according to the official COVID-19 reports from the Ministry of Health from 22 and 29 December. 336 infected people were in the hospital and 21 in the intensive care unit (291 and 22 a week earlier).

The development is thus similar to that in South Africa: rapid spread with rather mild symptoms. Unlike the previous wave in June, which pushed the hospitals to their limits. At that time the Delta variant was considered to be predominant in Namibia, since the beginning of December it has been Omicron.

Less risk than in Germany?

However, the incidence is only comparable to a limited extent with that of Germany and other European countries. It reflects the infection rates in cities. However, it says little about the risk of infection in Namibia’s sparsely populated areas.

These include attractions such as Etosha, Waterberg, Sossusvlei, Naukluft or Kalahari, where most of the tourists are spending most of their time. Tour operators, car rentals, accommodation and other tourism companies have been observing hygiene rules that are common around the world since the pandemic began in April 2020.

Namibia can still be reached by direct flight with Eurowings Discover (five times a week) and with a stopover with Ethiopean Airlines (also five times a week) as well as with other airlines via Johannesburg or Cape Town.

Similar reports on travel and nature in Namibia appear in the “Reise Aktuell” section of Namibiamagazin (in German only).

Travel regulations at a glance

Entry into Namibia, also for vaccinated and convalescent people (initially until 15 January 2022):
• negative PCR test, not older than 72 hours
• Random PCR tests upon entry
• Health form to be completed
• Travel health insurance, also for Covid treatment
• pre-booked travel programme

Return to Germany:
digital entry registration
• Vaccinated and convalescent: proof by certificates
• Unvaccinated:
/ negative PCR test, not older than 48 hours from the swab
/ 10 days quarantine, can be shortened to 5 days with a negative test
• Children under 6 years:
/ no test required
/ Quarantine ends automatically after 5 days

Information on entry requirements for the UK and other countries can be found on the website of IATA Travel Centre.

Corona Situation in Namibia and countries worldwide