Mbabane: The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to be a significant public health problem around the globe, and the Kingdom of Eswatini has not been spared. Although there is a significant decline across Africa and in the country there is still a high risk of a second increase in numbers, as seen in many countries around the globe.
This has largely been attributed to the lifting of lockdown restrictions that has also seen the opening up of international travel.
Minister of Health Lizzy Nkosi addressed the nation on Wednesday, detailing what changes would come into effect with regards to international travel.
Nkosi said the Kingdom of Eswatini continues to see sustained community transmission, despite the observed reduction in numbers in the recent weeks. The country therefore is still in the National Emergency mode, thus the current easing of travel restrictions is based on the current epidemic curve which will be reviewed as the pandemic evolves. Non-essential travel remains discouraged.
GUIDANCE ON ENTRY AND EXIT TO ESWATINI
Travellers and passengers will continue using the points of entry that were functional during the lockdown (Ngwenya, Mahamba, Lavumisa, Mananga, Matsamo, King Mswati 111 International Airport and Matsapha Airport). Lomahasha will remain the only gate way to Mozambique
1. Travellers entering the Kingdom of Eswatini
i. All travellers entering the Kingdom of Eswatini will be screened at the Points of Entry (POE) for the following.
- COVID-19 negative certificate/Results taken within 72hrs before entry into the country.
- Symptoms of COVID-19
- Country of origin and transit.
ii. Travellers who do not present a valid negative COVID-19 result or is presenting with COVID-19 symptoms or both, will be required to do the COVID-19 test at the Point of Entry at their cost.
iii. Travellers may be required to undergo a quarantine not exceeding 14 days or isolation as advised by the port health officers.
2. Travellers going out of the Kingdom of Eswatini
i. All travellers should plan to have a COVID-19 test not more than 72hrs before the travel date.
ii. Testing for COVID-19 will be at the cost of the traveler at a private laboratory. See Contract details below.
iii. All travelers leaving the Kingdom of Eswatini will screened at the point of exit
- COVID-19 certificate/Results taken 72hrs before exit out of the country
- Symptoms of COVID-19
- Country of destination and transit.
iv. If found to be having COVID-19 symptoms the traveler will not be allowed to exit the country and the protocol for COVID-19 testing will be effected. The testing will be done at their own cost.
Travellers intending to visit the country will be expected to produce a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa.
This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted the test.
Upon arrival in the port of entry, the traveller would be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms or for contact with people who had been infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Travellers would also need to provide proof of accommodation address should they need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country.
Essential Travellers such as daily commuters, that is to say scholars, teachers, truck drivers who have been making cross border travel during the travel restriction period will continue to travel following the protocols they have previously used.
The Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini would like to ensure that all travellers have a safe and COVID free stay while visiting the country. All travellers and residents are expected to adhere to the following 5 MUST Dos.
1. Wear a mask consistently and correctly in public spaces. This is mandatory in the Kingdom of Eswatini. This not only protects you but also protects others from getting infected.
2. Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water for at least 40 seconds or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer to clean your hands. Keeping the hands clean is essential because of how often people touch their faces or rub their eyes, giving the virus a pathway into the body.
3. Watch your distance; it must be at least 1m away from another person. The greater the distance, the less the chances of getting infected from an infectious person.
4. Avoid the “Three Cs: Closed spaces with poor ventilation, Crowded places with many people near each other and Close-contact setting such as close-range conversations. A combination of these 3 Cs, results in a high transmission of the virus.
5. Opt for the outdoors – this is always better than indoor should there be a need to hold a function in line with COVID-19 compliance.