Malawi set to reopen its skies to foreign travellers

Malawi’s government has announced the first week of September as the date for the resumption of international flight services to the southern African country.

The African Travel + Tourism Association says on its website that the declaration was made by the country’s Minister of Health, Khumbize Chiponda, while detailing revised COVID-19 guideline.

Only 5 474 known infections in country

Malawi’s airports have been closed to visitors since March as part of its response to the pandemic.

According to the Reuters news agency, Malawi has recorded 5 474 cases and 173 deaths from the virus so far, although the real figure may be higher as fewer than 50 000 tests have been conducted.

“The government has carefully considered the 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 September 1  2020,” said the Acting Director of the Department of Civil Aviation in Malawi, James Chakwera.

Chakwera said initially only a limited number of flights would operate into the city of  Lilongwe and all arrivals will be required to produce COVID-19 negative test results based on tests conducted 10 days prior to arrival.

More international flights for Zambia

Meanwhile Zambia, which opened its air and land borders to travellers from the beginning of July, is set to expand its offering to inbound and outbound visitors.

Emirates has announced the resumption of passenger services to Lusaka, with two weekly flights to and from Dubai operating from 4 September.

“The restart of services to Lusaka will offer Emirates customers in Zambia the opportunity to travel to Dubai, as well as an array of onward connections [via] the airline’s Dubai hub,” the carrier said in a statement.

“The addition of Lusaka also broadens Emirates’ reach into Africa with nine destinations served.”