WINDHOEK, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Namibian capital Windhoek said Monday that it will open informal markets starting on Wednesday following amendments to regulations banning all open markets and informal trading activities during the lockdown period.
Namibia has been on lockdown since March 27 as government tries to curb the further spread of the COVID-19 which has so far infected 16 people, of which six have already recovered.
Oshetu Community Market, Okahandja Park Market and Soweto Market will be the first markets to open on Wednesday while the other eight markets will be opened once disinfection has been completed.
In a statement, the City of Windhoek said the ban on open markets and informal trading activities has had serious negative effects on informal traders especially producers and vendors of fresh food produce.
"It has also been recognized that food is one of the listed essential goods, and that a large section of the population depend on informal trading and markets as the main avenue for them to either sell or source the essential produce or products, which in turn are their main source of income and survival," the city said.
Only fresh vegetables and fruits, raw meat and fish, dried food, dairy products, poultry products, cereals and flour products and cooked food prepared at home will be allowed to be sold at the open markets.
Traders and customers will be required to maintain social distancing and traders may be required to alternate on a daily basis to ensure that all traders have an opportunity to trade in cases where the area does not enable social distancing measures to be effected.
Traders and their employees should wear masks as part of the amended regulations while sanitizers and other disinfectants must be provided to ensure that all those who enter and exit the trading areas follow set sanitizing or disinfecting requirements and procedures.
The city said open markets will be assessed from time to time to determine compliance with the guidelines and provisions of regulations, and markets will be closed where non-compliance is observed. Enditem