Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Windhoek, Namibia


1. When will the lockdown come into force?

  • The lockdown will begin at 23:59 on Friday 27 March, 2020 until 23:59 on 16 April, 2020.
  • The lockdown will remain in force for twenty-one (21) days.

2. The following categories of Persons are exempted from this Lockdown:

  • Health workers in the public and private sector.
  • Emergency personnel including paramedics, fire fighters, Call Centre personnel.
  • Security services such as the police, correctional services, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers, immigration and customs, private security services and other persons necessary for the success of our response to the pandemic.
  • All Persons involved in the production, distribution and supply of goods and food across the agricultural value chain; essential legal, financial and banking services; the maintenance of power, water and telecommunications services; laboratory and veterinary services; refuse removal; the provision of medical and hygiene products; cleaning services; aircraft and cargo handling and engineering; park wardens; social welfare services; humanitarian workers and the media is also exempted from the provisions of the lockdown. [*See appended Full List]

3. When am I allowed to leave my Home?

  • All residents in the restricted areas, including Okahandja and Rehoboth local authority areas are not allowed to leave their homes during the lockdown period, unless such movement by any person in the restricted area is for the following reasons:

a. Travel by persons listed in Section 2 above;

b. Visits to pharmacies, food supply stores, courts, banks and for medical reasons;

c. Physical exercise in groups of not more than three (3) persons.

  • Only one person from a household may visit a store for essential goods and services, at a time. Inside a store, all shoppers must strictly adhere to prescribed Social Distancing protocols, keeping a distance of 1 meter or more from another person.
  • Only leave your home when it is absolutely necessary for example to get food, seek medical care or access essential services.
  • Passenger restrictions: Not more than three (3) persons will be permitted in a four (4) seater motor vehicle. Not more than four (4) persons will be permitted in a seven (7) seater motor vehicle at any given time. For larger buses with carrying capacity of sixteen persons or more, may only load half the number of passengers. Not more than two (2) persons per donkey cart and one (1) person per motorbike, bicycle and tricycle.

4. Which businesses and services will remain open?

  • Most shops and businesses will be closed, except those classified as Essential or Critical Services.
  • The police, military and emergency services will continue to operate.
  • Health care services such as public and private hospitals, clinics, doctors, pharmacies and laboratories will remain open.
  • Banks, essential legal, financial, payment services and medical aid funds will operate.
  • Supermarkets and Home Kiosks will be allowed to operate normal trading hours daily to allow residents to provide care for themselves and their families.
  • The sale of alcohol, liquor and spirits is strictly prohibited.
  • Petrol stations and the forecourt shops will remain open 24-Hours.
  • Municipal bus services will be suspended, except for those supporting the COVID-19 response.
  • All open markets, informal trading activities, shebeens, bars, pubs and nightclubs will not be permitted to operate during the lockdown period.
  • Restaurants, cafes and coffee shops will remain open but only offer take-away services.
  • Entities essential for the production and transportation of food, basic goods, medical supplies and their support services will be allowed to operate.
  • Banks are urged to optimize electronic banking channels.

5. Who may Work from Home?

  • Government urges employers to assign employees to perform their tasks from home in as far as the performance of such tasks from their homes, is possible.
  • Where the service is essential or critical, employees may be required to come into work. Where the service is not classified as essential or critical, employees will work from home.
  • Employers should exercise strict caution and ensure only a minimum number of employees are brought, or remain on site, to guarantee that the provision of essential or critical services is not disrupted.
  • All employees working during this time should observe strict hygiene and adhere to prescribed Social Distancing protocols at all times.

6. May I Travel to Namibia during the period under Lockdown?

  • Persons who are Namibian citizens and residents will be permitted to enter the country.
  • All Non-Namibians will not be allowed to enter the country and will be turned back, with exception of humanitarian aid workers and essential or critical services as defined.
  • All Namibians abroad who wish to return home must inform their Embassy or High Commission of their intent to travel, a week before departure.
  • Foreign nationals currently in Namibia (e.g. Tourists) planning to return to their respective countries of origin will be permitted to travel back at own cost.

7. What Measures have been put in place for Quarantine and Self-Isolation?

  • Returning citizens and permanent residents will be subjected to mandatory, supervised quarantine for a period of fourteen (14) days. Persons who are placed under self-quarantine will be monitored.
  • Facilities that satisfy the minimum standard as prescribed under the national guidelines, will be identified and reserved for the purpose of quarantine.
  • All persons identified through contact tracing will be placed under supervised quarantine for a period of fourteen (14) days.

8. What is a gathering during the lockdown period?

  • Although the lockdown is imposed starting in the Khomas and Erongo regions, conditions on the movement of people, public gatherings and social distancing should be observed across the country.
  • Any gathering during this period may not exceed more than 10 persons. This includes weddings and funerals.
  • COVID-19 related funerals will be handled by the State.
  • For non-COVID-19 related funerals, organizers are advised to limit the number of attendees to not more than 10 persons.
  • Those required to travel outside the restricted area for reasons of emergency, may seek authorization from the Regional Director of the respective sector.
  • Social distancing protocols – keeping a distance of 1 meter or more from another person should be strictly adhered to in all public spaces.
  • It is the responsibility of us all to minimise our movement and avoid large crowds.
  • We call on everyone to cooperate with government to implement these measures.

9. What is the penalty of violating the above Lockdown Regulations?

  • Violating any of the lockdown regulations is a punishable offense.
  • The penalty for violating the lockdown regulations is a spot fine of N$5,000-00 or arrest.

10. What Measures are in place to mitigate the impacts on the economy?

  • Every effort will be made to save Namibian lives.
  • Government is in engaged on a social and economic impact assessment and will present a way forward.

11. Measures in place to distribute Social Safety Net benefits

  • Our social safety net benefits remain in place and disbursements will not be disrupted.
  • Service providers must ensure appropriate Social Distancing protocols at all pay points.
  • All channels for access will remain open including ATMs, retail point of sale and cash pay points.

12. How can I partner with Government to contribute to the fight?

  • We are in this together and will emerge stronger, together.
  • A SPECIAL FUND has been established and all Namibians are encouraged to contribute.
  • Those who wish to make a monetary or in-kind contribution to this Fund may contact the following Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Japhet Iitenge contact number +264811297117 or or deposit directly into the following bank account:
    Bank: Bank Windhoek Limited
    Account Name: National Emergency Disaster Fund
    Account No.: 8000158443
    Account Type: Cheque Account
    Branch Code: 48197200
  • Those who wish to contribute by settling invoices directly have the option to do so. Please contact the Office of the Prime Minister, Executive Director Mr. I-Ben Nashandi, contact details: +26481128 2008 email:
  • Everybody who is practicing social distancing, and reporting themselves to medical personnel when feeling unwell is contributing greatly to flatten the curve.

13. When do I need to get tested?

  • Persons will only be tested on the advice of health professionals.
  • Should you feel unwell, with symptoms of a dry cough, high fever and shortness of breath, please call the Toll-Free Number (section 15.2), or consult a health facility or community health worker to be advised on what to do.
  • You will only be tested, if you have been screened by a health professional and found to have symptoms that meet the standard case definition.

14. There will be enough food in the country?

  • Government has had discussions with manufacturers and distributors of basic necessities, who have indicated there will be continuous supply of these goods.
  • There is no need to stockpile food.
  • Government calls on everyone in the country to avoid panic buying.

15. Where can I get credible Data and Information?

  • Stay informed by getting the facts. Avoid and do not disseminate rumours and fake news.
  • For authentic information contact the listed Toll-Free Number 0800-100-100 or 911 or your nearest health facility.
  • Digital resources: Log onto for daily updates, stats and facts.
  • Visit the following social media accounts for authenticated information:
    • Twitter: @MoHSS_Namibia and @CDCNamibia
    • Facebook: Ministry of Health and Social Services-Namibia
    • Instagram: ministryofhealthnamibia
  • Download the following Mobile Application for Android: “Namibia COVID19”

16. General Information

  • The urgent and aggressive measures we are taking will challenge us as a nation.
  • But we are convinced the cost of not acting now would be far greater.
  • The lockdown of Khomas and Erongo regions, including Okahandja and Rehoboth will be accompanied by continued public health response to provide screening, testing, contact tracing, quarantine, isolation and medical management.
  • You are encouraged to be active and exercise within your home environment.
  • It is important that you stay connected via the phone, social media, or email.
  • Where possible, wear a protective face-mask and gloves.
  • Practice hygiene when you go out. Wash your hands when leaving home and again before departing for home. Carry hand sanitizer at all times. Avoid touching your face.
  • By staying home you are contributing greatly to the fight against the further spread of the disease.
  • These measures will reviewed regularly as we scale up our national response to COVID-19.
  • During this time let us demonstrate the values of solidarity, unity and empathy. Let us give of ourselves and our time, by volunteering to assist all those involved in the fight against COVID-19.

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President Hage Geingob directed all Government employees as well as those in the State Owned enterprises and Private Sector to operate from home for the next 12 days as a measure to combat further spreading of the Corona Virus (COVID 19), except for those providing critical or essential services. The Ministry of Health and Social Services has been receiving countless enquiries as to what are the essential services in Namibia, therefore it is hereby announced the following categories are the designated Essential Services in terms of section 77 (4) of the Labour Act, 2007 (Act No 11 of 2007).

1. Ambulance services
2. Casualties services
3. Theatre Services
4. Intensive Care Unit (ICU) services
5. Hospital Wards
6. Laboratory Services
7. Pharmaceutical services
8. Dental Services
9. Radiography services
10. Physiotherapy service
11. Mortuary services
12. Medical services including medical specialized services
13. Hospital Kitchen Services
14. Hospital laundry services
15. Emergency management services
16. Disaster management services
17. Portable water services
18. Waste water Management services
19. Scientific services
20. Electricity distribution services
21. Electricity operation services
22. Electricity maintenance services
23. Electricity transmission services
24. Electricity network operation services
25. Electricity system operation services
26. Electricity system security and planning services
27. Electricity engineering services
28. Electricity energy trading services
29. Air navigation services
30. Air traffic management services
31. Communication navigation and surveillance system services
32. Search and rescue services
33. Aeronautical information services and
34. Meteorological services for air navigation services


1. Agriculture, forestry and fishing
Agricultural Production and value chains (Animal husbandry, Agronomic and horticulture) supply related operations, including farming, veterinary and phyto-sanitary provider services, pest control services, feed and chemical and fertilizer remedies providers. Millers and logistics services.

2. Fishing
Vessel and fishing processing plants maintenance and service providers

3. Mining and quarrying
Related operations to maintain minimal mining operations and critical maintenance work.

4. Manufacturing
Manufacturing of health related products, hygiene and sanitary related products, supplies, devices, equipment, and medicines, including complementary health products and supplements; food, non-alcoholic beverages and essential products, as well as essential inputs thereto. This includes production for exporting the same product categories. Production for disposable health and hygiene and sanitary related products, as well as for the production of packaging for essential health and food supply chains. Food, beverages and essential products manufacturing and processing facilities, to the extent they are supporting essential or critical business continuity services to the fight of COVID 19

5. Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
Public and private organizations, their staff and service providers essential to the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning will need to continue to operate. This includes municipalities, and the suppliers of logistics, feedstock and maintenance will be required to continue to operate and provide security of electricity supply.

6. Water supply, purification, desalination; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities
Public and private organizations, their staff and service providers essential to the security of supply of bulk and potable water and sanitation must continue to operate and provide vital water and sanitation services. This includes municipalities and those involved in the supply of materials, chemicals and related equipment.

7. Construction
Any maintenance support requirements for retailers, manufacturers producing essential goods, support to medical services; plumbing and electrical services, security installations and maintenance, water treatment and sewerage.
Building of medical infrastructures and quarantine camps in support of essential or critical business continuity services to the fight of COVID 19

8. Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
Retail, wholesale, supermarkets / home kiosks for food and essential products. Essential hygiene products include: toilet paper, cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants, personal hygiene products, and essential supplies for those taking care of the sick and elderly and in order for people to remain healthy.
All services related to the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles to continue in as far as are providing support to the fight of COVID 19.

9. Transportation, logistics and storage
Warehousing, transport, distribution, cold storage and logistics for food & essential products, production inputs and health related goods. This includes operations at all entry points. Humanitarian and relief functions in the fight of COVID 19 will be permitted.

10. Accommodation and food service activities
To the extent that they are supporting essential or critical business continuity services to the fight of the COVID 19 subject to take away and not dinning in restaurants.

11. Information and communication
Communication and media services on screen, TV, radio, print, broadcast and online.

12. Legal, Financial, Banking and insurance activities
Legal, court, financial, banking and insurance services and health funders required to finance and support essential and critical business continuity and provide short term bridging finance to people and businesses during this period.

13. Professional, scientific and technical activities
Professional and artisan services, to the extent that they are providing support in the Covid19 response, essential and critical services.

14. Administrative and support service activities
Private and public services to the extent that they are providing support in the Covid19 response, essential and critical business continuity services.

15. Public administration and defence; compulsory social security
Personnel to the extent that they are providing support in the Covid19 response, essential and critical business continuity services. Safety and security services protecting people and property.

16. Human health and social work activities
All centers providing life and health services; energy, food and water supply, social, transactional, communications, law and order and international critical business continuity services.

17. Information communications technology
Data centers, fibre optic infrastructure, towers and antennae will need to operate at high efficiency to ensure connectivity remains stable during the lockdown.