South Sudan announced the resumption of domestic and international flights from Juba airport seven weeks after its closure, despite the continued spread of coronavirus in the country.
Last Thursday the South Sudanese presidency directed to resume flights within 72 hours, as part of several measures taken to ease COVID-19 restrictions.
David Subek Dada, the head of the South Sudan civil aviation ordered to the airport starting from Tuesday 12 May in line with a presidential directive to ease coronavirus lockdown rules.
In a letter to all airline companies operating in the country, Dada said his country will abide by all the rules for the safe reopening of air travel, including social distancing in airports.
“Travellers and airline operators will be required to adhere to preventive measures recommended by the Ministry of Health before being permitted entry,” wrote the South Sudanese official.
Dada requested the operators to ensure that international travellers produce medical certificates confirming they had tested negative for COVID-19.
Airlines further must leave empty seats between passengers, who have to wear protective masks, the official said, citing new rules.
Also, the foreigners who arrive in the country will be asked to self-isolate for two weeks upon arrival.
South Sudan reported its first coronavirus case on 5 April, while the airport had been closed on 24 March.
South Sudan has confirmed 194 cases of respiratory disease with no death until now.
On Tuesday, health authorities recorded 20 new cases
The taskforce on coronavirus said that 9 confirmed cases are a result of local transmission confirming the continued spread in the country.
Health authorities are betting on medical testing and isolation of confirmed and suspected cases alike.