Malawi: Government To Lift Air Travel, School Restrictions From September
The Malawi government has announced it is going to reopen its main airport on Sept 1 and public schools on Sept 7 as the country moves to ease COVID-19 restrictions imposed earlier this year, reported CGTN Africa. Schools and airports have been closed since March when the government imposed a lockdown to try to contain the pandemic.
Malawi’s Education Minister Agnes Nyalonje said the reopening of schools will be done in phases. She said the reopening is only for classes sitting national examinations and fourth-year universities. The lower grades will reopen later in October.
“We will begin with those that administer national examinations and are expecting exams soon. At primary and secondary school levels, we will prioritise examination classes and at tertiary level, we will prioritise final year classes,” Nyalonje said.
The school closures in Malawi left more than 5 million pupils across all levels out of class.
Nyalonje added that the government will take a phased approach starting with examination classes from September 7 to the others later in October.
“While noting the continuance of the COVID-9 pandemic, the government has carefully considered adverse effects of the suspension of air travel on all sectors of the economy and has therefore decided to lift the suspension with effect from 1 September 2020,” James Chakwera, Acting Director of the Department of Civil Aviation, said in a statement.
He added that only a limited number of flights would operate initially, while all arrivals will be required to produce Covid-19 negative test results based on tests conducted within 10 days prior to arrival.
“Arriving passengers will be required to test for COVID-19 and self quarantine for 14 days,” Chakwera said.
He said only Kamuzu International Airport in the country’s capital will reopen to limited flights next week.
As of Thursday, Malawi has recorded 5,496 positive case and 173 deaths.