The Gambian government has relaxed various COVID-19 restrictions on travels and public gatherings as the country approaches the beginning of its tourism season.
Gambia’s six-month tourism season begins by the end of October.
On Saturday, the government of the small West African country declared its markets opened, waiving a two-week mandatory quarantine imposed on guests arriving in the country.
But travelers will still be required to show evidence of negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test results conducted not more than 72 hours prior to their arrival, according to the statement.
Those with positive test results will be quarantined, the government release said, adding: “Airlines and travel agencies are hereby duly notified to begin booking flights to The Gambia and to all categories of travelers.”
The Gambian economy was badly hit by COVID-19, recording an estimated 20% decline in revenue.
One of the key sectors hit hard by the pandemic is tourism. An assessment released by the Gambia Tourism Board in May estimated the sector may lose up to $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.
Gambia has registered 3,621 COVID-19 cases, with 2,489 recoveries and 117 deaths.