By Adama Tine
The Ministry of Health has issued new requirements for travelers as a result of the Omicron variant in a bid to protect the country from being hit by the new variant.
The hotspot countries are South Africa, Botswana, E-Swatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola, and Zambia.
A statement from the ministry signed by Modou Njai, director of health promotion and education said: “Ministry of Health wishes to inform the general public that the entry requirements into The Gambia in respect to COVID-19 response are hereby updated with effect from 12th December, 2021.”
“This is in line with the current status of the discovery of the new coronavirus variant of concern, the Omicron, in some countries around the world. This virus is not yet identified in The Gambia.”
“Passengers from countries considered as hotspot for the Omicron variant will need a negative PCR test report and in addition undergo a PCR Test upon arrival at the airport. List of such countries will be periodically updated.”
“The public is informed that all departing passengers will be required to adhere to COVID-19 testing requirement for the destination countries upon confirmation by the Port Health Officers or airline representatives as might be published,” he added.
“Passengers who have been fully vaccinated do not need a PCR test to enter the Gambia. Such travelers are advised on self-monitored isolation and avail themselves to the testing centers for RDT test should in case they notice any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or could call 1025 for enquiry.”
However, if such individuals have signs or symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, they will be required to undergo Rapid Diagnostic Test for COVID-19 at the airport.”
“Non-Vaccinated or Partially Vaccinated individuals will need a negative PCR test report valid within 72hrs for entry into the country. Passengers from countries considered as hotspot for the Delta Variant will, in addition, undergo a Rapid Diagnostic Test at the Airport upon arrival. List of such countries will be periodically updated,” he said.
The statement continued that: “The list of Delta Variant hotspot countries based on our national guidelines are as follows: United Kingdom, Netherlands, USA, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Ireland, France, Australia, India, Mexico, Sweden, Portugal, Canada, South Africa, Switzerland, Finland, Spain and Slovenia.”
“The Ministry is therefore, soliciting the continuous support and cooperation of the public in its efforts to contain COVID-19 in the country.”