Gambia ease COVID-19 limitations to travelers

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BANJUL, GAMBIA - APRIL 04: An area is partly crowded as many streets remain empty due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Banjul, Gambia on April 04, 2020. (Photo by Yusupha Sama/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
BANJUL, GAMBIA – APRIL 04: An area is partly crowded as many streets remain empty due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Banjul, Gambia on April 04, 2020. (Photo by Yusupha Sama/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Gambian government has relaxed various COVID-19 restrictions on travel and gatherings as the country approaches its six-month tourism season that begins at the end of October.

The government on Saturday declared markets in the country open, waiving a two-week mandatory quarantine impose on travelers arriving in The Gambia.

However, travelers will be required to show proof of a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test results, conducted not more than 72 hours before their arrival, according to a statement.

Those with positive test results will be quarantined, the government statement said, adding that, “Airlines and travel agencies are hereby duly notified to begin booking flights to The Gambia and to all categories of travelers.”

Gambia’s tourism sector is one of the key sectors hit hardest by the pandemic.

According to an assessment released by The Gambia Tourism Board in May, the sector may lose up to an estimated $108 million.

Tourism has a share of 20% in Gambia’s GDP but the sector has been grounded to a halt since March when the country registered its first case of COVID-19.

The Gambia has registered 3,621 COVID-19 cases with 2,489 recoveries and 117 deaths.

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