Lockdown information across Africa as at 1st July 2020, including travel and tourism updates.

Major African countries update regarding COVID 19 active cases and lockdown status as of July 3rd:-
 

  • Confirmed cases = 418,211
  • Active cases = 209,623
  • Recoveries = 198,182
  • Number of deaths = 10,406

Nigeria- Nigeria will resume domestic flights from July 8, the government said on Wednesday, as Africa's most populous country relaxes novel coronavirus restrictions despite mounting cases and deaths.


Kenya- Tourism Minister Najib Balala announced government has reduced entry fees to all Kenya Wildlife Service game parks and reserves to 50%. “This will apply for all categories of tourists (local, residents & international), effective July 1, 2020 for one year,” he added. Nairobi lockdown has been extended to 7 July. 

Morocco- Minister of Economy Mohamed Benchaaboun said that the quarantine will cause Morocco’s economy to lose six points of GDP growth in 2020. The ministries also announced the reopening of leisure and entertainment spaces, such as gyms and hammams, given that they operate at no more than 50% of their capacity.


Ethiopia- The country’s election body has  stressed that it will not hold any election across the country till the pandemic is no longer a public health threat. The position was in response to the northern Tigray regional state that asked for assistance to hold its local elections.


Senegal-The state of emergency and nighttime curfew imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus has been lifted from Tuesday. The president announced the resumption of international flights from 15 July but under stringent safety measures. Mr Sall warned that the country's economic growth would slow from 6.8% to 1.1%, or even less, due to the impact of the pandemic. Civil servants will now work from 08:00 to 17:00 local time, but entertainment spots will remain closed.

Rwanda- Police are randomly stopping people in Rwanda's capital, Kigali, seeking their consent for coronavirus testing. Rwandan authorities re-introduced a two-week lockdown in parts of the capital, Kigali, as dozens of cases were confirmed.

Uganda- Uganda has opened part of its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo to allow in thousands of people stuck in no-man's land for more than a month.

South Africa- The regular international flights from and to South Africa are not expected to return before next year.


Ghana- The registration process for new voters started from June 30, 2020 to August 6, 2020.


 Libya- Libya extended a curfew and other lockdown measures for ten days from Saturday, June 27, until Tuesday, July 7.


Angola- Angola remains closed to commercial flights. The Angolan government has extended the validity of visas for foreigners until August 31.


Mozambique - Mozambique's state of emergency has been extended by 30 days until July 30.


 
 

Covid-19 has cost Africa's tourism industry $55bn, says AU

African countries have lost almost $55 billion in travel and tourism revenues in three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the African Union (AU) commissioner for infrastructure and energy said on Thursday.


Amani Abou-Zeid told a news conference the economic impact of lockdowns and border closures to curb the spread of the virus would be severe, with the continent's air industry hit particularly hard.


She said tourism and travel represented almost 10% of the gross domestic product of Africa.

"We have 24 million African families whose livelihood is linked to travel and tourism," Abou-Zeid said, adding the downturn had come in a year when Africa was expected to see an increase in travel and air transport.


"The blow is very hard, between the economic losses and the job losses," Abou-Zeid said. African airlines have seen a 95% drop in revenues, or about $8 billion, along with other losses such as the deterioration of assets, she said.


 


Detailed updates are as below:


NIGERIA

The Nigerian state of Kano ended its novel coronavirus lockdown on Thursday, the local ministry of health said, months after an outbreak of what was originally called a 'mysterious disease' killed hundreds of citizens. Kano's health ministry on its official Twitter account did not provide details of the state lockdown ending except to say civil servants would return to work from July 6. Officials have expressed their concern that the outbreak in the West African country might become much worse. Nevertheless, Nigeria on Wednesday said it would restart domestic flights from July 8. Nigeria will resume domestic flights from July 8, the government said on Wednesday, as Africa's most populous country relaxes novel coronavirus restrictions despite mounting cases and deaths.The airports for the capital Abuja and Lagos will open on July 8, while a handful of others are set to open July 11 and the rest on July 15, the government said on its official Twitter account.No date was given for the resumption of international flights.Nigeria had confirmed more than 25,000 coronavirus cases and almost 600 deaths as of Wednesday, with little sign of the outbreak slowing. Officials have expressed their concern that the outbreak in the West African country might become much worse.

(Active cases: 26484) 


KENYA

Kenyan police killed three people when they fired at a crowd of motorcycle taxi drivers protesting against the arrest of a colleague for flouting coronavirus restrictions.Tourism Minister Najib Balala announced a raft of measures on Thursday. “Due to the adverse effects of Covid-19 to the tourism and wildlife sector. We have reduced entry fees to all Kenya Wildlife Service game parks and reserves to 50%. “This will apply for all categories of tourists (local, residents & international), effective July 1, 2020 for one year,” he added. The main interventions are: Reduced national park entry fees for Kenyan and international visitors, Lodges inside the parks have also been given a year’s moratorium from paying rent, Film makers have also been given a 50% discount on filming fees charged in parks.The minister also urged the lodges to use the rent holiday to improve services. Tourism is a mainstay of the Kenyan economy. The country us a major player in the East African region along with Uganda and Tanzania.Nairobi lockdown has been extended to 7 July. Restrictions on road, rail and air transport to and from the Nairobi Metropolitan area, and Mombasa and Mandera Counties are in place until 7 July. The land borders with Somalia, Uganda and Ethiopia have closed, with the exception of cargo trucks.

(Active cases: 6673)


MOROCCO

Government announced an improvement in Morocco’s industrial activities for May following a few months of decline during the COVID-19 crisis. The bank said on July 2 that industrial production increased while the capacity utilization rate (TUC) stood at 56% in May, compared to 47% in April. The increase is due to the positive points secured at industrial levels, including mechanical and metallurgical production, as well as chemistry and para chemistry. Sales activities, however, declined in both local and foreign markets. The bank also recorded a decrease in production in the textile and leather and electrical and electronics sectors. The pandemic’s circumstances cost Morocco over  MAD 1 billion, or $100 million, a day, Minister of Economy Mohamed Benchaaboun said in May. He added that the quarantine will cause Morocco’s economy to lose six points of GDP growth in 2020. The ministries also announced the reopening of leisure and entertainment spaces, such as gyms and hammams, given that they operate at no more than 50% of their capacity. All audiovisual and film production activities in Morocco will re-launch. Highways and public roads will also reopen between cities, along with railways.

(Active cases: 12636)


ZAMBIA

Zambian President Edgar Lungu announced the country will further ease its COVID-19 restrictions to spur economic growth. After easing some restrictions last month, the Zambian leader announced the reopening of international airports that were closed as part of efforts to contain the pandemic. He said during a national address on the COVID-19 pandemic that the reopening of the international airports was expected to result in the increased flow of international tourists, but called for heightened preventive measures at the three airports. He said bars and night clubs will remain closed until the country starts experiencing favorable weather while the remaining classes in schools and colleges will reopen once the cold season was over.

(Active cases:1632)


ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia has not released coronavirus statistics since June 29 when cases were at 5,846 with 103 deaths, 2430 recoveries and 3,311 recoveries. The main sources of updates, the federal Health Ministry, Minister Lia Tadesse and the Ethiopia Public Health Institute have all not posted updates since June 29. Neither the WHO Africa regional office or the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also updated stats since Monday. 

The country’s election body has also stressed that it will not hold any election across the country till the pandemic is no longer a public health threat. The position was in response to the northern Tigray regional state that asked for assistance to hold its local elections.

The development could likely be because of an internet blackout in the country in the wake of the murder of a popular musician in the capital Addis Ababa. Four days since the incident, the country has experienced deadly protests as people demanded justice for the murder. Police reported blasts in the capital whiles the army was deployed to quell violence.

(Active cases: 5846)
 

SENEGAL

Senegalese President Macky Sall has said a state of emergency and nighttime curfew imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus will be lifted from Tuesday. In a televised address, the president also announced the resumption of international flights from 15 July but under stringent safety measures. Mr Sall warned that the country's economic growth would slow from 6.8% to 1.1%, or even less, due to the impact of the pandemic.

He urged people to resume their normal activities to get the economy back on track. Civil servants will now work from 08:00 to 17:00 local time, but entertainment spots will remain closed. The closure of public markets one day per week for cleaning will continue. Wearing face masks remains mandatory in public spaces, workplaces, public transport and shops. The president is himself under a two-week quarantine after he came into contact with an infected person. The quarantine ends next week. The country has so far confirmed 6698 cases and 108 deaths.

(Active cases: 6925)


RWANDA

Police are randomly stopping people in Rwanda's capital, Kigali, seeking their consent for coronavirus testing. The exercise kicked off on Thursday morning on some roads and entry points. Rwandan health authorities say this “will provide factual information about the Covid-19 status in the capital”. From March, Rwanda has conducted more than 140,000 tests. More than 1,000 have recorded positive results. Officials in Kigali told that they will be focusing on morning hours as people go to work and in the evenings as they return home. Some are however complaining that they are being forced to consent to the testing. Last week, the Rwandan authorities re-introduced a lockdown in parts of Kigali as dozens of cases were confirmed. Last week, Rwandan authorities re-introduced a two-week lockdown in parts of the capital, Kigali, as dozens of cases were confirmed. Most cases were recorded in the east, near the border with Tanzania, and in the south-west near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.Mass testing has been taking place in the last two weeks. Tickets are available for the flight departing Kigali for Addis Ababa with connections to the United States on Tuesday, July 7.

(Active cases: 1042)
 

UGANDA

Uganda has opened part of its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo to allow in thousands of people stuck in no-man's land for more than a monthAt least 3,000 of them fled their homes in May after inter-communal clashes in north-eastern Ituri province.But they were unable to cross into Uganda to seek safety as the country had closed its borders in March to control the spread of coronavirus.It has been agreed the refugees will be quarantined before being settled. This will happen for 14 days at a new isolation centre, 13km (eight miles) from the border. The UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) says sample testing will be carried out on the group to see if coronavirus is present amongst them. This will help authorities decide when the refugees can be transferred to camps Two border crossings in Uganda's Zombo district temporarily opened on Wednesday and it is expected all the refugees will be able to cross over in three days. Uganda hosts more than 1.4 million refugees - most have fled from South Sudan, while about 30% come from DR Congo.

(Active cases: 893)


SOUTH AFRICA

South African health authorities announced on Thursday, July 2, that the country had recorded its highest daily increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. Authorities reported that 8124 new COVID-19 cases had been confirmed in the preceding 24-hours, with 92 new associated deaths, the highest single-day increase since the disease was first confirmed in the country in March. The Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize stated that this brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country to 159,333, with 2749 associated deaths. 


The Western Cape province remains the most affected area in the country with 64,377 cases reported. 


South Africa has recently entered level 3 of its phased reopening during the coronavirus pandemic, easing many restrictions that were imposed during the complete lockdown of the country to tackle Covid-19. The country's recent scaling down measures included re-opening libraries and museums and lifting a closure order on businesses such as restaurants, casinos and cinemas.

In addition, domestic travel has been allowed for business and essential purposes. However, regular international flights from and to South Africa are not expected to return before next year.

Tourism sector employees are hopeful though that international flights may resume before September as that time of the year is considered to be the peak season for inbound tourism, which could assist many workers in the sector as they seek to remain employed in tourism-related industries.

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) released a statement implying that resumption of flights by September is crucial for people in the inbound tourism industry to preserve their jobs, as during the period from September to March inbound tourism makes up 60% of its overall annual revenues. TBCSA presented a three-phase recovery strategy in June that requires 6-8 weeks of preparation before carrying out a phase 1 trial that will help select countries with permission to travel to South Africa. However, authorities believe that re-opening in or before September would be premature as the Covid-19 peak in South Africa is expected to occur in August.

(Active cases: 168061) 


GHANA

A major news development is the Supreme Court’s decision today to throw out a suit against the election body’s decision to compile a new voters register ahead of December 2020 general elections. The registration process started from June 30, 2020 to August 6, 2020 

from 7.00am to 6.00pm. The Electoral Commission insists it has done well in managing coronavirus safety protocols at registration centers amid ongoing voter registration exercise across the country.


The EC got the apex court’s go-ahead to conduct a new registration exercise after a case brought by the main opposition NDC was dismissed. Concerns continue to be raised over the conduct of people who went to centers to register.


Photos shared on social media showed that virus protocols were being flouted in many places with people crowded at some centers with disregard for basic social distancing. Most of them also did not have masks even though it is an offence per a presidential Executive Instrument.


 
Cases in the Greater Accra region have passed the 10,000 mark with the Ashanti region in a distant second with over 3,600 cases, the oil-rich Western Region completes the top three regions with over 1,550 cases as of today. Also, The Greater Accra regional police disclosed that it undertook an operation in which some people were arrested in the central business district of the capital for being without masks. The arrests came a day after the government said it was engaging the police on some areas of mask wearing.

(Active cases: 18134)


LIBYA


The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) extended a curfew and other lockdown measures in place in areas under its control due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic for ten days from Saturday, June 27, until Tuesday, July 7. The decision comes as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise daily nationwide. The curfew in the western and southern GNA-controlled areas is in place between 20:00 and 06:00 (local time). Individuals are required to stay home where possible and face masks must be worn in public at all times. A full 24-hour ban on non-essential movement was also imposed for the second weekend running on Friday, June 26, to Saturday, June 27, and similar measures are likely on Friday, July 3, to Saturday, July 4.


Lockdown measures have also been imposed in Marsa al Brega in eastern Libya for a week from June 27 through July 4.


Land and sea border crossing points within GNA territory were closed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj on March 16. All mosques, schools, restaurants, wedding halls, parks, and shops remain closed as a precaution. 

(Active cases: 891)


ANGOLA

While the number of cases of COVID-19 in Angola remains relatively low, instances of local transmission are steadily increasing.   Angola continues to operate under a government-imposed “State of Calamity.”  Health centers and hospitals have resumed full operations; businesses may be fully staffed as of June 29; restaurants may stay open until 10:30 p.m. with seating limited to 50 percent of capacity; public transportation may operate at 75 percent of passenger capacity; and hotels and guest houses may reopen to the public.  Beaches, pools, and marinas remain closed, as do movie theaters, libraries, and media centers.  Face masks are still required when shopping, on public transportation, and in any public offices, and everyone is encouraged to adhere to social distancing.


Angola remains closed to commercial flights. The Angolan government has extended the validity of visas for foreigners until August 31.  Anyone arriving in Angola must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test; passengers may take the test up to eight days prior to entering the country and will be given credit for those days towards the mandatory 14-day quarantine.  Land borders remain closed for all but commercial transport, and Luanda Province remains closed to overland personal travel or domestic passenger flights. 

(Active cases: 315)

 

MOZAMBIQUE


Mozambique receives donation from British High Commission in Maputo and WHO. British High Commission in Maputo, WHO donated 13 laptops + modems to MoH to support with COVID19 response. This is to better ensure effective implementation and monitoring of community activities as well as to enable community actors to keep up with virtual trainings for the response. 


President Filipe Nyusi announced on Sunday, June 28, that Mozambique's state of emergency in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has been extended by 30 days until July 30. Level three lockdown measures will remain in place during the extended state of emergency, with residents urged to stay home, except for essential reasons, and the use of face masks being mandatory on public and private communal transport and at gatherings. However, Nyusi announced that some restrictions will begin to be eased in the coming days, including the reopening of schools. Lockdown measures on key economic sectors such as tourism, culture, and business services will also be eased, allowing some businesses, resorts, and restaurants to reopen. However, social distancing and hygiene measures must be adhered to and more stringent restrictions may be reintroduced in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks.


In order to support international business and tourism, the suspension of international flights to and from Mozambique has also been lifted, allowing business travellers, tourists, and essential personnel to enter the country from a number of designated 'safe' countries. However, Nyusi did not specify which countries would see the resumption of commercial flights and it is unclear what quarantine or testing requirements will be in place for international arrivals. LAM Mozambique Airlines continues to operate domestic flights and international airfreight operations.

(Active cases: 918)


TANZANIA

Schools has reopened on 29 June and President John Magufuli has said the virus has been largely defeated, but the lack of data has led to increasing concern over the true level of infections.


Tanzania's neighbors as well as international health organizations have expressed concerns that downplaying the epidemic there could adversely impact the wider region. 

In mid June, the country's prime minister told parliament there were 66 active coronavirus cases, but provided no further details.


Apart from this announcement, the government has not been releasing any data on infections or deaths. The president has said releasing the figures was causing unnecessary panic.

(Active cases: 509)


MALAWI

Malawi’s do-over election was fraught with tensions and uncertainty amid Covid-19 fears. On June 28, 2020, Malawi’s new president, Lazarus Chakwera was sworn in as president following a rerun vote on June 23, in which he won 58.57 percent of the vote.


Polls opened across Malawi on Tuesday, in what appears to be a historic moment for the southern African country and potentially democracies across the continent. For the first time ever, the country is redoing its presidential election following the annulment of last year’s election results due to irregularities.


But the redo of the election is happening at unprecedented time with the strike of Covid-19.  Social distancing isn’t being observed at some polling centers in the country and few people have masks. The electoral commission advised people to bring their own pens from home used for voting to avoid contracting the virus.

(Active cases: 1342) 
 

SOMALIA


On Monday, April 13, General Abdi Hassan Mohamed Hajar, Somali commander of police, announced that a nighttime curfew would be implemented in Mogadishu for an indefinite period from Wednesday, April 15 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The nightly curfew will be in effect between 20:00 and 05:00 (local time). Also, all international flights to and from Somalia are indefinitely suspended.

(Active cases: 2944)

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