Stage 3: State of Emergency - COVID-19 Regulations [national return to Stage 3] Proclamation 46 of 2020 (GG 7307) came into force on date of publication: 13 August 2020

REGULATIONS MADE IN TERMS OF

Namibian Constitution

pursuant to Article 26(5) of the Namibian Constitution,

subsequent to the declaration of a State of Emergency in the whole of Namibia, following a worldwide outbreak of the disease known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), by Proclamation No. 7 of 18 March 2020 (GG 7148)

 

 

Stage 3: State of Emergency - COVID-19 Regulations

[national return to Stage 3]

Proclamation 46 of 2020

(GG 7307)

came into force on date of publication: 13 August 2020

 

These regulations applied to the entire country from their publication
on 13 August 2020 to 24:00 on 29 August 2020.

(See regulation 2(1) read together with the definition of “specified period” in
regulation 1, read together with regulation 3.)

 

Note that some individual regulations apply only to the “restricted areas” of
(a) Arandis, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay and

(b) Windhoek, Rehoboth and Okahandja.

(See the definition of “restricted areas” in regulation 1, read together
with references to the “restricted areas” in individual regulations.)

 

Proclamation 46 of 2020 also repealed the

(1) “Stage 4: State of Emergency - Covid-19 Regulations”
contained in Proclamation 33 of 2020 (GG 7270) as amended by
Proclamation 40 of 2020 (GG 7284) and Proclamation 44 of 2020 (GG 7295); and

(2) “Stage 3: State of Emergency - COVID-19 Regulations: Erongo Region”
contained in  Proclamation 39 of 2020 (GG 7283) as amended by

Proclamation 43 of 2020 (GG 7294).

 

 

ARRANGEMENT OF REGULATIONS

 

1.       Definitions

2.       Application of regulations

3.       Specified period

4.       Restrictions on learning

5.       Wearing of masks

6.       Gatherings

7.       Restrictions relating to liquor

8.       Restrictions relating to certain business, operations and activities

9.       Additional provisions relating to workplace

10.     Restrictions relating to entry into and departure from restricted areas

11.     Curfew

12.     Prohibition relating to entry into Namibia

13.     Quarantine and Covid-19 Testing

14.     Public transport

15.     Applicability of Act No. 1 of 2015

16.     Offences and penalties

17.     Regulations to bind State

 

ANNEXURE A - CRITICAL SERVICES

 

ANNEXURE B - ESSENTIAL GOODS

 

 

Definitions

 

1.            In these regulations -

 

“authorised officer” means -

 

(a)      the Director referred to in section 32 of the Disaster Risk Management Act, 2012 (Act No. 10 of 2012);

 

(b)     a member of the Namibian Police as defined in section 1 of the Police Act, 1990 (Act No. 19 of 1990);

 

(c)      a member of the municipal police service referred to in section 43C of the Police Act, 1990 (Act No. 19 of 1990);

 

(d)     a member of the Defence Force as defined in section 1 of the Defence Act, 2002 (Act No.1 of 2002);

 

(e)      a correctional officer as defined in section 1 of the Correctional Service Act, 2012 (Act No. 9 of 2012);

 

(f)      an immigration officer as defined in section 1 of the Immigration Control Act;

 

(g)     an officer as defined in section 1 of Customs and Excise Act, 1998 (Act No. 20 of 1998), charged with the responsibility of enforcing the customs and excise legislation; and

 

(h)     any other staff member designated or person appointed as an authorised officer under section 32 of the Disaster Risk Management Act, 2012 (Act No. 10 of 2012);

 

“COVID-19” means the coronavirus disease of 2019 which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2);

 

“critical services” means the services listed as critical services in Annexure A;

 

“essential goods” means the goods listed as essential goods in Annexure B;

 

“head of the institution” means the administrative head of a public institution and the chief executive officer or the equivalent of a chief executive officer of a private institution;

 

“health regulations” means regulations on health matters pertaining to COVID-19 issued under Article 26(5) of the Namibian Constitution or any other applicable law;

 

“higher education institution” means an institution that provides learning programmes leading to qualifications higher than grade 12 or its equivalent;

 

“Immigration Control Act” means the Immigration Control Act, 1993 (Act No. 7 of 1993);

 

“liquor” means any spirits, wine, beer, cider or other beverage, including a traditional beverage, which contains alcohol and is intended for human consumption but excludes any substance that contains alcohol but is used or is intended to be used for medicinal purposes;

 

“Liquor Act” means the Liquor Act, 1998 (Act No. 6 of 1998);

 

“mask” means a covering made of any suitable material that is worn on and around a person’s nose and mouth so as to fully cover that person’s nose and mouth for purposes of preventing the transmission of COVID-19;

 

“restricted areas” means -

 

(a)     the local authority areas of Arandis, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay including the portion of the main tarred road that connects the local authority areas of Arandis and Swakopmund and which portion is situated outside these two local authority areas, as well as the strips of land of five kilometers on either side of that portion of the road;

 

(b)     the local authority areas of Windhoek, Rehoboth and Okahandja including the portion of the main tarred road that connects these local authority areas and which portion is situated outside these three local authority areas, as well as the strips of land of five kilometers on either side of that portion of the road;

 

“school” means a school as defined in section 1 of the Education Act, 2001 (Act No. 16 of 2001);

 

“specified period” means the period referred to in regulation 3 and indicating Stage 3 of the State of Emergency as determined by Cabinet;

 

“vulnerable employee” means a pregnant employee, an employee who is a nursing mother, an employee with a pre-existing condition such as a heart disease, high blood pressure, respiratory problems, obesity, diabetes, tuberculosis or a condition which might compromise the immune system of the employee.

 

Application of regulations

 

2.            (1)        Except where otherwise indicated, these regulations apply to the whole of Namibia during the specified period.

 

(2)          If there is a conflict between the provisions of these regulations and any other law the provisions of these regulations prevail, but the provisions of the health regulations prevail in respect of health related matters.

 

Specified period

 

3.            The specified period is from the date of commencement of these regulations and ends at 24:00 on 29 August 2020.

 

Restrictions on learning

 

4.            (1)        During the specified period -

 

(a)      schools and educational institutions providing early childhood development learning and pre-primary learning must remain closed;

 

(b)     schools and educational institutions providing primary education from the level of the first grade to the level of the seventh grade and secondary education from the level of the eight and the ninth grade must remain closed;

 

(c)      schools and educational institutions providing secondary education from the level of the tenth grade, eleventh grade and the twelfth grade may continue face to face learning; and

 

(d)     higher education institutions must close or remain closed, but higher education institutions providing practical training may resume face to face learning and training where it would be impractical to achieve such learning and training through alternative forms of learning contemplated in subregulation (2).

 

(2)          The closure of schools, higher education institutions and other educational institutions contemplated in subregulation (1) does not prevent -

 

(a)      in the case of a state school, the relevant minister responsible for education; and

 

(b)     in any other case, the governing body of the school or institution in question,

 

from employing other alternative forms of learning that do not involve the physical presence of learners or students at the schools or institutions.

 

(3)          Heads of schools, higher education institutions and other educational institutions which provide face to face learning must ensure that the persons accessing their premises at all times adhere to the measures to combat, prevent and suppress the spread of COVID-19 as specified in these regulations and the health regulations.

 

Wearing of masks

 

5.            (1)        During the specified period every person must wear a mask whenever he or she is at or in a public place.

 

(2)          During the specified period, wearing of a see-through face shield is permitted, provided that a mask is worn together with the face shield.

 

(3)          An authorised officer may instruct a person who is not wearing a mask as contemplated in subregulation (1) or (2) to wear a mask or to leave the public place.

 

(4)          A person who fails or refuses to comply with an instruction given under subregulation (3) commits an offence and is on conviction liable to a fine not exceeding N$2 000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Gatherings

 

6.            (1) For the purpose of this regulation, “gathering” means a group of more than 10 persons.

 

(2)          During the specified period, all gatherings are prohibited, except where -

 

(a)      all persons at the gathering are members of the same household gathered at their place of residence;

 

(b)     persons are gathered at their workplace;

 

(c)      the gathering is by a government institution at national, regional or local level or the Cabinet or the Parliament for purposes of its normal operations;

 

(d)     the gathering is for purposes of court or tribunal proceedings; or

 

(e)      a group of persons independently or coincidentally find themselves at a specific place.

 

(3)          Persons who gather in the circumstances referred to in subregulation (2) must at all times adhere to the measures to combat, prevent and suppress the spread of COVID-19 as specified in and under these regulations or the health regulations.

 

(4)          An authorised officer may instruct a gathering, other than a gathering referred to in subregulation (2), to disperse and may use all reasonable measures to cause a gathering or group to disperse.

 

(5)          The person organising or hosting a gathering permitted in terms of this regulation, except a gathering referred to in subregulation (2)(a) and (2)(e) must -

 

[There should be a comma after the phrase “except a gathering referred to in
subregulation (2)(a) and (2)(e)” to offset that phrase properly.]

 

(a)      open and maintain a register of the persons who attend the gathering; or

 

(b)     ensure that the register of the persons referred to in paragraph (a) is opened and maintained,

 

for the purpose of recording the particulars of persons who attend the gathering.

 

(6)          The persons who are required to open and maintain a register in accordance with subregulation (5) must -

 

(a)      keep the register in a safe place for the duration of the State of Emergency;

 

(b)     on request, make the register available for inspection by an authorised officer; and

 

(c)      treat the information provided under this regulation as confidential, and may not disclose that information to any other person except as provided in paragraph (b) or when required to so disclose it in terms of any law or by a court.

 

(7)          The register referred to in subregulation (5) must contain the full name, identification number or passport number and telephone number or cellular phone number of each person who attended the gathering.

 

 (8)         A person who -

 

(a)      facilitates, instigates or organises a gathering, except a gathering permitted by subregulation (2);

 

(b)     fails or refuses to obey an instruction issued under subregulation (4); or

 

(c)      fails or refuses to comply with subregulation (5) or (6),

 

commits an offence and is on conviction liable to a fine not exceeding N$2 000 or to imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

 

Restrictions relating to liquor

 

7.            (1)        For the purposes of this regulation, a term defined in the Liquor Act, except for the word “liquor”, bears that meaning.

 

(2)          A person may only sell liquor and a person may only purchase liquor if -

 

(a)      the person who sells the liquor holds a liquor licence authorising the sale of liquor, and the sale of liquor is in accordance with that licence; and

 

(b)     the sale and purchase of liquor are in accordance with subregulation (3) or (4).

 

(3)          During the specified period and despite any contrary condition applicable to any type of liquor licence issued under the Liquor Act, the sale of liquor in terms of a liquor licence and the purchase of liquor may -

 

(a)           only take place between 12:00 and 18:00 on a week day;

 

(b)          only take place between 9:00 and 13:00 on a Saturday; and

 

(c)           not take place on a Sunday and on a public holiday; and

 

(d)          only take place if the liquor is sold or purchased on an off-sales basis.

 

(4)          The provisions of subregulation (3) do not apply in respect of a hotel, a restaurant or a similar business, operating in an area which is not a restricted area, and which lawfully sells food that is intended to be consumed on the premises of the seller and the liquor is sold, for on-consumption, in relation to a meal sold to be consumed on the premises, provided that liquor may only be sold between 12:00 and 22:00.

 

(5)          A hotel, a restaurant or a similar business operating in a restricted area may not during the specified period sell liquor despite having a liquor licence authorising the sale of liquor.

 

(6)          A person who contravenes or fails to comply with subregulation (2), (3), (4) or (5) commits an offence and is on conviction liable to a fine not exceeding N$2 000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

(7)          An authorised officer who is a peace officer within the meaning of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No. 51 of 1977), may, without a warrant, seize any liquor that is suspected to have been sold or has been purchased in contravention of this regulation and the seized liquor must, subject to changes required in the context, be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Liquor Act, as if it were liquor seized in terms of that Act.

 

Restrictions relating to certain businesses, operations and activities

 

8.            (1)        Subject to the provisions of regulation 7 and subregulation (4), all businesses, operations and activities, except those listed in subregulation (3), are permitted, during the specified period.

 

(2)          Despite subregulation (1), in the restricted areas, hotels, restaurants and other similar businesses including kapana selling businesses, which in the course of business or trade or commerce sell food item intended to be consumed on the premises must operate on a take away basis.

 

[The phrase “food item” should be plural: “food items”.]

 

(3)          During the specified period, the following businesses, operations and activities are prohibited -

 

(a)      contact sports, which for purposes of this regulation refers to sports in which players may directly or indirectly have physical contact, such as rugby, boxing, football, martial arts, or wrestling;

 

(b)     casinos and gambling houses; and

 

(c)      nightclubs.

 

(4)          During the specified period, the following businesses, operations and activities are permitted subject to the condition that the people attending the event inclusive of the organisers do not exceed the applicable number of people stipulated for a gathering in regulation 6(1) and that the head of the institution or organiser keeps and maintains a register that contains the full name, identification number or passport number and telephone number or cellular phone number of each client or customer that visits the business or attends the event -

 

(a)      sporting events, other than contact sports;

 

(b)     entertainment events and concerts; or

 

(c)      seminars, conferences, workshops and summits.

 

(5)          Every head of the institution or the manager or person in control of any business, operation and activity which is permitted during the specified period must ensure that the persons accessing the premises and services of the business, operation or activity at all times adhere to the measures to combat, prevent and suppress the spread of COVID-19 as specified in and under these regulations.

 

(6)          A person who contravenes or fails to comply with the requirements of subregulation (2), (3) or (4) commits an offence and is on conviction liable to a fine not exceeding N$2 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Additional provisions relating to workplace

 

9.            (1)        Heads of institutions are encouraged to allow vulnerable employees to work from home, subject to suitable arrangements between the employer and employee.

 

(2)          Heads of institutions are encouraged to provide masks to their employees.

 

(3)          Heads of institutions must ensure that their employees at all times adhere to the measures to combat, prevent and suppress the spread of COVID-19 as specified in and under these regulations.

 

Restrictions relating to entry into and departure from restricted areas

 

10.          (1)        Subject to subregulation (2), during the specified period, a person may not -

 

(a)      enter a restricted area; or

 

(b)     depart from a restricted area to any other part of Namibia,

 

unless that person is in possession of a valid permit issued by a police officer under subregulation

(3) and which permit the person must, on request by a police officer, produce to that police officer.

 

(2)          Subregulation (1) does not apply to a person who at the commencement of these regulations is -

 

(a)      in a restricted area and intends to return to his or her place of residence which is situated outside a restricted area; or

 

(b)     outside a restricted area and intends to return to his or her place of residence which is situated in a restricted area,

 

if the returning is within a period of 48 hours from that period of commencement, except that the person must obtain a permit to leave the area from a police officer at the point of exit and such person may be subject to quarantine measures specified in the health regulations or guidelines.

 

(3)          Subregulation (1) is not construed as preventing a person from moving within a restricted area as long as that person complies with the requirements of these regulations relating to the movement of persons or goods.

 

(4)          A person who wishes to enter into or depart from a restricted area, for purposes of -

 

(a)      receiving essential medical treatment which cannot reasonably be performed outside or inside the restricted area as the case may be, and which cannot reasonably be postponed;

 

(b)     transporting essential goods;

 

(c)      performing an action necessary for the enforcement of law or public order;

 

(d)     maintaining or repairing infrastructure necessary or useful for the provision of essential goods or critical services;

 

(e)      performing a critical service that cannot reasonably be postponed; or

 

(f)      performing any other function or doing any other thing which the police officer considers sufficient to warrant the entering into or departing from the restricted area with due consideration of the fact that travel to and from the restricted area must be minimised: Provided that the attendance of a funeral, wedding or other family event is (except for the funeral of a parent, child, spouse or sibling) not deemed to be a sufficient reason to enter or leave a restricted area for the purposes of this paragraph,

 

may request a police officer nearest to that person or at the point of entry into or exit from a restricted area, to issue a permit authorising entry into or departure from the area.

 

(5)          A permit referred to in subregulation (2) or (4) may contain conditions relating to any of the following matters-

 

(a)      the entering of quarantine facilities at a designated place;

 

(b)     having a specified test taken at a specified place; and

 

(c)      entering isolation facilities if the result of the test indicates that the person is  infected with COVID-19; and

 

(d)     that persons who are travelling from a restricted area to another area be subject to quarantine measures specified in the health regulations or guidelines.

 

(6)          The Inspector-General of the Namibian Police may after consultation with the Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services issue directives to police officers relating to the issuing of permits, which directives must be consistent with these regulations, and which directives may require consultation with any functionary indicated in the directives.

 

(7)          During the specified period, a person entering into or departing from a restricted area must, at every point where so required by an authorised officer, enter into a register kept by an authorised officer, the particulars that are specified in that register.

 

(8)          A person who contravenes or fails to comply with subregulation (1) or (7), or fails to comply with a condition imposed under subregulation (5), commits an offence and is on conviction liable to a fine not exceeding N$2 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

(9)          If an authorised officer finds a person under circumstances which create a reasonable suspicion that the person is likely to contravene subregulation (1) or (4), that authorised officer may instruct the person to stop the journey in question and failure to obey such an instruction is deemed to be a contravention of, or failure to comply with that subregulation, and that person is liable to the penalties provided for in subregulation (8).

 

Curfew

 

11.          (1)        Subject to subregulation (2), a person who is in the restricted area may not leave his or her place of residence between 20h00 and 05h00 on each day.

 

(2)          A person does not contravene subregulation (1) if that person leaves his or her place of residence for purposes of -

 

(a)      providing a critical service, provided the person is in possession of a document issued under subregulation (6);

 

(b)     seeking medical assistance;

 

(c)      seeking law enforcement assistance; or

 

(d)     attending to any other emergency situation that could not be reasonably avoided.

 

(3)          An authorised officer may instruct a person to return to his or her place of residence if that officer finds a person at a place which is not his or her place of residence during the curfew hours specified in subregulation (1).

 

(4)          A person who contravenes subregulation (1) or fails to comply with an instruction under subregulation (3) commits an offence and is on conviction liable to a fine not exceeding N$2 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

(5)          For the purpose of facilitating movement during the curfew hours referred to in subregulation (1), the head of the institution involved in the provision of a critical service or a person delegated by the head of the institution must determine -

 

(a)           the critical service to be performed during the curfew hours; and

 

(b)          the staff members who must perform the critical service during the curfew hours.

 

(6)          After making a determination in terms of subregulation (5), the head of the institution or a person contemplated in that subregulation must issue a document to every staff member who is to perform the critical service during the curfew hours referred to in subregulation (1).

 

(7)          The document referred to in subsection (6) -

 

(a)      must specify the name and surname of the staff member, the identification number  of the staff member and the critical service and the name of the institution in sufficient detail; and

 

(b)     be signed by the head of the institution or the person reffered to in subregulation (5).

 

[The word “referred” is misspelt in the Government Gazette, as reproduced above.]

 

(8)          A person performing a critical service must show the document issued to him or her in terms of subregulation (6) to an authorised officer or any person in relation to whom he or she may seek to perform a function.

 

Prohibition relating to entry into Namibia

 

12.          (1)        Subject to the other provisions of these regulations, every person who -

 

(a)      is not a Namibian citizen;

 

(b)     does not hold a permanent residence permit for Namibia;

 

(c)      is not domiciled in Namibia or otherwise lawfully resident in Namibia;

 

(d)     is not part of a team of medical personnel that is required to provide medical services in Namibia to alleviate the COVID-19 pandemic;

 

(e)      is not a member of the diplomatic or consular staff of a country that is accredited to Namibia or in transit to another country; or

 

(f)      is not a spouse or child of a person referred to in paragraphs (a) to (e),

 

must, during the specified period, be refused entry into Namibia under section 10 of the Immigration Control Act.

 

(2)          Persons permitted to enter Namibia must, two weeks before entering Namibia, in writing inform the relevant Namibian diplomatic representative in the country of intended departure of the intention to enter Namibia.

 

(3)          Despite subregulation (1) a person who -

 

(a)           is not a Namibian citizen;

 

(b)          does not hold a permanent residence permit for Namibia; or

 

(c)           is not domiciled in Namibia or otherwise lawfully resident in Namibia;

 

may, for the purpose of undertaking tourism activities in Namibia, subject to the Immigration Control Act and subregulation (4), enter Namibia during the period, starting on 15 July 2020 and ending on 15 August 2020 as provided for in the repealed Proclamation No. 33 of 14 July 2020.

 

(4)          Persons permitted to enter Namibia under subregulation (3) may not enter Namibia unless such persons at the time of entering Namibia present to an authorised officer a negative SARS-COV-2 PCR test result that -

 

(a)           is not older than seven days; and

 

(b)          was issued by a laboratory that is certified to issue SARS-COV-2 PCR test results.

 

(5)          Subject to the Immigration Control Act, a person who -

 

(a)      is a driver of a motor vehicle, an operator of a locomotive, a pilot in command of an aircraft or a captain or master of a shipping vessel transporting goods;

 

(b)     performs any service relating to the operation of the vehicle referred to in paragraph (a); or

 

(c)      performs a necessary service relating to the transportation of goods referred to in paragraph (a),

 

in the course of business or trade or commerce may be allowed to enter Namibia if such entry is otherwise lawful.

 

(6)          Despite the provisions of subregulation (1), a person referred to in that subregulation may be allowed to enter Namibia if that person complies with or meets such requirements as may be determined by the Minister responsible for immigration issued pursuant to the Immigration Control Act.

 

(7)          A person who contravenes or fails to comply with subregulation (1), (4) or (5) commits an offence and is on conviction liable to a fine not exceeding N$2 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Quarantine and COVID-19 testing

 

13.          (1)        Any person who enters Namibia as contemplated in regulation 12 is subject to quarantine requirements as set out in these regulations and the health regulations or guidelines.

 

(2)          All persons permitted to enter Namibia in terms of regulation 10 must on entering Namibia be tested for COVID-19 during the period of quarantine.

 

(3)          Except where subregulation (4) and (5) apply, all persons entering Namibia during the specified period are subject to mandatory quarantine at own cost.

 

(4)          The following categories of Namibian citizens may be quarantined at the cost of the State -

 

(a)      students enrolled for and undertaking a course of study at a school or an educational institution in Namibia or in a foreign country;

 

(b)     State patients;

 

(c)      health professionals;

 

(d)     persons entering Namibia on humanitarian grounds;

 

(e)      persons entering Namibia on official government business; or

 

(f)      such persons as may be specified in the regulations issued under Sub-Article (5) of Article 26 of the Namibian Constitution.

 

(5)          Namibian citizens who are unable to pay for the cost of quarantine as required by these regulations may request, in the form and manner determined under the regulations issued under Sub-Article (5) of Article 26 of the Namibian Constitution, that the State cover the cost of their quarantine.

 

(6)          Namibian citizens who leave Namibia for private business during the specified period are, on entering Namibia during that period, subject to mandatory quarantine at own cost.

 

(7)          A person who unreasonably refuses to be quarantined or tested as specified in subregulation (1) or (2) commits an offence and is on conviction liable to a fine not exceeding N$2 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Public transport

 

14.          (1)        For the purposes of this regulation -

 

“vehicle” means a vehicle as defined in section 1 of the Road and Transport Act, 1999 (Act No. 22 of 1999) and includes a locomotive that is used for the transportation of passengers or goods by railway; and

 

“motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle as defined in section 1 of the Road and Transport Act, 1999 (Act No. 22 of 1999).

 

(2)          A person who transports goods on a vehicle may not carry a passenger on the vehicle unless the person carried in or on the vehicle is necessary for the operation of the vehicle during the course of business or trade or commerce of the person.

 

(3)          A person who conveys persons, whether for reward or for any other purpose, by means of a public or private motor vehicle, an animal-drawn vehicle or a pedal cycle may not transport -

 

(a)      more than three persons, including the driver, in a four-seater motor vehicle;

 

(b)     more than four persons, including the driver, in a five-seater motor vehicle;

 

(c)      more than four persons, including the driver, in a seven-seater motor vehicle;

 

(d)     a number of persons, including the driver which exceeds half of the number of passengers allowed to be transported in a motor vehicle not otherwise provided for in this regulation;

 

[There should be a comma after the phrase “including the driver” to offset that phrase properly.]

 

(e)      more than two persons, including the driver, in an animal-drawn vehicle; and

 

(f)      any person other than the driver on a motorcycle, motor tricycle or pedal cycle.

 

(4)          The -

 

(a)      manner in which children are to be counted for purposes of subregulation (3) is as provided for in regulation 250 of the Road Traffic and Transport Regulations, published under Government Notice No. 53 of 30 March 2001; and

 

(b)     number of seats of a motor vehicle is for the purposes of subregulation (3)  determined in accordance with regulation 252 of the Road Traffic and Transport Regulations, published under Government Notice No. 53 of 30 March 2001.

 

(5)          Every owner or operator of a vehicle used for the purposes of conveying persons or goods for reward must -

 

(a)      ensure that the driver of a public vehicle carrying passengers in terms of an authorisation granted in terms of any law wears a mask and the driver must ensure that all passengers wear masks at all times;

 

(b)     provide alcohol-based hand sanitisers for use in the vehicle; and

 

(c)      regularly disinfect or cause the regular disinfection of the vehicle used for the purposes of conveying persons or goods, and before and after each conveyance.

 

(6)          A person who contravenes or fails to comply with subregulation (2), (3) or (5) commits an offence and is on conviction liable to a fine not exceeding N$2 000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Applicability of Act No. 1 of 2015

 

15.          (1)        Despite the provisions of section 96 of the Public and Environmental Health Act, 2015 (Act No. 1 of 2015), the provisions of Part 3 of that Act are, for purposes of these regulations, brought into operation.

 

(2)          In order to attain the objectives of subregulation (1), any provision of the Public Health Act, 1919 (Act No. 36 of 1919) that is inconsistent with any provision of Part 3 of the Public and Environmental Health Act, 2015 (Act No. 1 of 2015) is suspended to the extent of the inconsistency during the period that this regulation is in force.

 

(3)          Despite the provisions of section 22(2) of the Public and Environmental Health Act, 2015 (Act No. 1 of 2015) the disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is deemed to be a formidable epidemic disease and it is declared that the threatened outbreak of that disease necessitates the measures referred to in section 29(1) of that Act.

 

Offences and penalties

 

16.          (1)        A person commits an offence if that person -

 

(a)      not being an authorised officer, by words, conduct or demeanour falsely represents himself or herself to be an authorised officer;

 

(b)     hinders, obstructs or improperly attempts to influence an authorised officer when exercising or performing a power or function conferred or imposed by or under these regulations or another law;

 

(c)      furnishes or gives false or misleading information to an authorised officer; or

 

(d)     does anything calculated to improperly influence an authorised officer concerning a matter connected with the functions of the authorised officer.

 

(2)          A person commits an offence if that person, through any form of media, including social media, knowingly or without having taken reasonable steps to ascertain the correctness of any information -

 

(a)      publishes any false or misleading statement about the COVID-19 status of any person; or

 

(b)     publishes any false or misleading statement, in connection with measures to combat, prevent and suppress COVID-19 as specified in and under these or other regulations made under Article 26(5) of the Namibian Constitution.

 

(3)          A person convicted of an offence in terms of subregulation (1) or (2) is liable to a fine not exceeding N$2 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Regulations to bind State

 

17.          These regulations bind the State.

 

 

ANNEXURE A

CRITICAL SERVICES

(Regulation 1)

 

PART 1

 

1.       Ambulance services

2.       Casualties services

3.       Theatre Services

4.       Intensive Care Unit (ICU) services

5.       Hospital Wards

6.       Laboratory Services

7.       Pharmaceutical services

8.       Dental Services

9.       Radiography services

10.     Physiotherapy services

11.     Mortuary services

12.     Medical services including medical specialised services

13.     Hospital Kitchen Services

14.     Hospital laundry services

15.     Emergency management services

16.     Disaster management services

17.     Potable water services

18.     Waste water management services

19.     Scientific services

20.     Electricity distribution services

21.     Electricity operation services

22.     Electricity maintenance services

23.     Electricity transmission services

24.     Electricity network operation services

25.     Electricity system operation services

26.     Electricity system security and planning services

27.     Electricity engineering services

28.     Electricity energy trading services

29.     Air navigation services

30.     Air traffic management services

31.     Communication navigation and surveillance system services

32.     Search and rescue services

33.     Aeronautical information services

34.     Meteorological services for air navigation services

 

PART 2

 

1.       Agriculture and forestry

 

Agricultural production and value chains (animal husbandry, agronomic and horticulture) supply related operations, including farming, veterinary and phyto-sanitary provider services, pest control services, feed and chemical and fertilizer remedies providers. Millers and logistics services.

 

2.       Fishing

 

Harvesting of fish (including artisanal fishing other than for leisure), cultivation of fish and value chain activities relating to fish, as part of food production for Namibia and for export; maintenance of fishing vessels and maintenance of fishing processing plants.

 

3.       Mining and quarrying

 

Mining and related activities to maintain mining operations including critical maintenance work on plant and equipment. Normal mining operations, including value chain activities will be allowed.

 

4.       Manufacturing

 

Manufacturing of health related products, hygiene and sanitary related products, supplies, devices, equipment, and medicines, including complementary health products and supplements; food, non-alcoholic beverages and essential products, as well as essential inputs thereto. This includes production for exporting the same product categories. Production for disposable health and hygiene and sanitary related products, as well as for the production of packaging for essential health and food supply chains. Food, beverages and essential goods manufacturing and processing facilities, to the extent they are supporting essential or critical business continuity services to fight COVID-19.

 

5.       Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply

 

Public and private organisations, their staff and service providers essential to the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, fuel, gas, steam and air conditioning will need to continue to operate. This includes local authorities and regional councils, and the suppliers of logistics, feedstock and maintenance will be required to continue to operate and provide security of electricity supply.

 

6.       Water supply, purification, desalination, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities

 

Public and private organisations, their staff and service providers essential to the security of supply of bulk and potable water and sanitation must continue to operate and provide vital water and sanitation services. This includes local authorities and regional councils and those involved in the supply of materials, chemicals and related equipment.

 

7.       Construction

 

Any maintenance support requirements for retailers, manufacturers producing essential goods, support to medical services; any construction that cannot be reasonably postponed; plumbing and electrical services, security installations and maintenance, water treatment and sewerage. Building of medical infrastructures and quarantine camps in support of essential goods and critical services to fight COVID-19.

 

8.       Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles

 

Retail, wholesale, supermarkets, the open markets and informal traders, home kiosks for food and essential goods. Essential hygiene goods include: toilet paper, cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants, personal hygiene products, and essential supplies for those taking care of the sick and elderly and in order for people to remain healthy. All services related to the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles to continue in as far as they are providing support to the fight against COVID-19.

 

9.       Transportation, logistics and storage

 

Warehousing, transport (including courier services), distribution, cold storage and logistics for essential goods, production inputs and health related goods. This includes operations at all entry points. Humanitarian and relief functions in the fight against COVID-19 will be permitted.

 

10.     Accommodation and food service activities

 

To the extent that they are supporting essential or critical business continuity services to the fight of the COVID-19 subject to take away and not dinning in restaurants.

 

[The word “dining” is misspelt in the Government Gazette, as reproduced above.]

 

11.     Information and communication

 

Communication and media services on screen, television, radio, print, broadcast and online.

 

12.     Legal, financial, banking, social security and insurance activities

 

Legal, court, financial, banking and insurance services and health funders required to finance and support essential and critical business continuity and provide short term bridging finance to people and businesses during the restricted period.

 

13.     Professional, scientific and technical activities

 

Professional, scientific and technical services, to the extent that they are providing support in the COVID-19 response, essential and critical services.

 

14.     Support service activities

 

Private services to the extent that they are providing support in the COVID-19 response, essential and critical business continuity services.

 

15.     Public administration, defense, safety and security

 

Public Office Bearers, personnel and functionaries at national, regional and local levels to the extent that they are providing support in the COVID-19 response, essential and critical business continuity services. Safety and security services protecting people and property.

 

16.     Human health and social work activities

 

All centers providing life and health services; energy, food and water supply, social, transactional, communications, law and order and international critical business continuity services. Care services relating to the sick, frail, children, or other vulnerable persons, in a home or homestead; and care facilities for children of critical service workers.

 

17.     Information communications technology

 

Data centers, fiber optic infrastructure, towers and antennae will need to operate at high efficiency to ensure connectivity remains stable.

 

 

ANNEXURE B

ESSENTIAL GOODS

(Regulation 1)

 

 

1.       Food:

 

(a)      any food product, including water and non-alcoholic beverages;

 

(b)     animal food; and

 

(c)      chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any food product.

 

2.       Cleaning and hygiene products:

 

(a)      toilet paper, sanitary pads, sanitary tampons;

 

(b)     hand sanitiser, disinfectants, soap, alcohol for industrial use, household cleaning products, and personal protective equipment;

 

(c)      chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production or preservation of any of the above;

 

(d)     products for the care of children;

 

(e)      personal care including but not limited to, body and face washes, roll-ons, deodorants, toothpaste and any other products ordinarily used for hygiene purposes.

 

3.       Medical:

 

(a)      medical and hospital supplies, equipment and personal protective equipment;

 

(b)     chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production or preservation of any of the above;

 

(c)     pharmaceutical supplies, including but not limited to prescribed medication; and

 

(d)     contraceptives including condoms.

 

4.       Fuel, including coal and gas.

 

5.       Wood for cooking purposes.

 

6.       Basic goods, including airtime and electricity.

 

7.       Fish and fish products.

 

8.       Mining products.

 

9.       Coffins and related services.

 

10.     Plumbing and electrical supplies.

 

11.     Educational materials.

 

12.     Goods necessary for the effective provision of critical services specified in Part 1 and 2 of Annexure A.

_____

 

 

 

 

Provisions of Part 3 of the Public and Environmental Health Act 1 of 2015 brought into force by regulation 13(1)

 

Public and Environmental Health Act 1 of 2015

 

PART 3

NOTIFICATION, PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF DISEASES

 

Principles of notification of diseases

 

5.            (1)        The chief health officer and a local authority must prevent the spread of a notifiable infectious disease without unnecessary restricting personal liability or privacy.

 

(2)          A person who -

 

(a)     is at risk of contracting a notifiable infectious disease must take precaution to avoid contracting the disease; or

 

(b)     suspects that he or she may have a notifiable infectious disease must ascertain whether he or she has a disease and which precautions should be taken to prevent spreading the disease.

 

(3)          A person who -

 

(a)     is at risk of contracting a notifiable infectious disease;

 

(b)     suspects that he or she has a notifiable infectious disease; or

 

(c)     has a notifiable infectious disease,

 

has the following rights to the extent that those rights do not infringe on the well being of others to -

 

(i)      be protected from unlawful discrimination;

 

(ii)     have his or her privacy respected;

 

(iii)    be given information about the medical and social consequences of the disease; and

 

(iv)    have access to available treatment.

 

Classification of diseases

 

6.            The Minister, in respect of the notification of diseases, may classify by notice in the Gazette a disease to be -

 

(a)     an infectious disease;

 

(b)     a notifiable infectious disease; or

 

(c)     a notifiable infectious disease to be a vaccine preventable notifiable infectious disease.

 

Notification and reporting of notifiable infectious diseases

 

7.            (1)        If a patient, to the knowledge of a health practitioner attending to the patient, is suffering from a notifiable infectious disease or dies from that disease, the health practitioner must forthwith in the prescribed manner, furnish the chief health officer and the local authority in whose local authority area the patient is, with a written certificate of notification containing the prescribed particulars.

 

(2)          The -

 

(a)     head of health services of a local authority notified as contemplated in subsection (1) must investigate the source of the notifiable infectious disease and if necessary, take the remedial action considered necessary to hold the spread of the notifiable infectious disease; and

 

(b)     chief health officer must cause or direct that a notifiable infectious disease so notified be investigated by an environmental health practitioner or other health practitioner authorised by the chief health officer with regard to the source of the disease.

 

(3)          A principal or head of a learning institution, head of a family or a household, employer, owner or occupier of land or premises, traditional leader, chief or headmen must report to a local authority the particulars of the patient and his or her symptoms, the occurrence of a case of illness or death coming to his or her notice and suspected to be due to a notifiable infectious disease, or with a history or presenting symptoms or appearances which might reasonably give grounds for the suspicion.

 

(4)          A -

 

(a)     health practitioner who contravenes or fails to comply with subsection (1); or

 

(b)     person referred to in subsection (3) who contravenes or fails to comply with that subsection,

 

commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Inspection of premises and issuing of test orders

 

8.            (1)        A head of health services or a health practitioner authorised by the chief health officer may at a reasonable time enter and inspect a premises in which he or she has reason to believe that a person -

 

(a)     suffering from a notifiable infectious disease;

 

(b)     who has recently suffered from a notifiable infectious disease; or

 

(c)     who has recently been exposed to an infection of a notifiable infectious disease,

 

is or has recently been present.

 

(2)          If a carrier of a notifiable infectious disease has accidentally transmitted an infection to another person, the head of health services or health practitioner may issue a test order to a person referred to in subsection (1)(a) to (c) for the purpose of ascertaining whether the person is suffering or has recently suffered from a notifiable infectious disease.

 

Medical examination of persons suspected to be suffering from notifiable infectious diseases

 

9.            A health practitioner authorised by the chief health officer or a head of health services may at a reasonable time enter a premises contemplated in section 8 for the purpose of medical examination of a person contemplated in that section.

 

Provision of isolation and other facilities

 

10.          (1)        A local authority may, and, if required by the Minister after consultation with the local authority, must, provide and maintain either separately or jointly with another local authority -

 

(a)     suitable hospitals or places of isolation for the accommodation and treatment of persons suffering from notifiable infectious diseases;

 

(b)     mortuaries or places for the reception of human remains pending the carrying out of a post-mortem examination ordered by a lawful authority, but provision must be made for the separate storage of infectious human remains until removal for interment;

 

(c)     vehicles for the transport of persons suffering from a notifiable infectious disease or for the removal of a infected bedding, clothing or other articles;

 

[The article “a” before the term “infected bedding” is superfluous.]

 

(d)     disinfecting and cleansing stations, plant and equipment for the cleansing of persons and the disinfection of bedding, clothing, vehicles or other articles which have been exposed to, or are believed to be contaminated with, the infection of a notifiable infectious disease, or which are contaminated or harmful; or

 

(e)     other accommodation, equipment or articles required for dealing with a outbreak of a notifiable infectious disease.

 

[The article “a” before the term “outbreak” should be “an”.]

 

(2)          A private hospital may, and, if required by the Minister after consultation with the private hospital, must, provide and maintain either separately or jointly with another private hospital or state hospital -

 

(a)     suitable places of isolation for the accommodation and treatment of persons suffering from notifiable infectious diseases;

 

(b)     mortuaries or places for the reception of human remains pending the carrying out of a post-mortem examination ordered by a lawful authority, but that provision must be made for the separate storage of infectious human remains until removal for interment;

 

(c)     vehicles for the transport of persons suffering from a notifiable infectious disease or for the removal of a infected bedding, clothing or other articles;

 

[The article “a” before the term “infected bedding” is superfluous.]

 

(d)     disinfecting and cleansing stations, plant and equipment for the cleansing of persons and the disinfection of bedding, clothing, vehicles or other articles which have been exposed to, or are believed to be contaminated with, the infection of a notifiable infectious disease, or which are contaminated or harmful; or

 

(e)     other accommodation, equipment or articles required for dealing with an outbreak of a notifiable infectious disease.

 

Removal and isolation of infected persons

 

11.          (1)        If, in the opinion of a head of health services, a person certified by a medical practitioner to be suffering from a notifiable infectious disease is not accommodated or is not being treated or nursed in the manner as adequately to guard against the spread of the disease, the person may, on the order of the head of health services, be removed to a suitable hospital or place of isolation and be detained until the head of health services or a medical practitioner authorised in writing by the local authority or by the Minister, is satisfied that the person is free from infection or can be discharged.

 

(2)          The cost of the removal of a person contemplated in subsection (1) and of his or her maintenance at the hospital or place of isolation must be borne by the local authority or State.

 

Infected persons transferred for treatment from other areas

 

12.          If a patient suffering from a notifiable infectious disease is transferred from an area to another local authority or state hospital or state health service for isolation and treatment in a hospital or place of isolation maintained by the local authority or the state, the local authority, state hospital or state health service to whom the patient has been transferred may recover from the local authority or state hospital or state health service who ordered the transfer of the patient the cost of -

 

(a)     maintenance of the patient;

 

(b)     nursing and treatment of the patient; and

 

(c)     burial in the event of the death of the patient.

 

Local authority to prevent transmission of notifiable infectious diseases

 

13.          If a person suffers from a notifiable infectious disease within the local authority area of a local authority, it is the duty of the local authority to ensure that adequate measures are taken -

 

(a)     for preventing the spread of the disease, including if necessary, provision for -

 

(i)      the accommodation;

 

(ii)     the maintenance;

 

(iii)    nursing and medical treatment of the patient in a hospital or place of isolation, until the patient has recovered or is no longer a danger to the public health; or

 

(b)     in the event of the death of the patient, for the removal and burial of the human remains.

 

Disinfection of premises or article

 

14.          (1)        If it appears from the certificate of the head of health services or a health practitioner that the cleansing or disinfection of a premises or article is necessary for -

 

(a)     preventing the spread or eradicating the infection of a notifiable infectious disease; or

 

(b)     preventing danger to health,

 

the head of health services or chief health officer, must in writing notify the owner or occupier of the premises or the owner or person in charge of the article that the premises or article will be disinfected.

 

(2)          If an article dealt with by the head of health services or the chief health officer under this section is of a nature that it cannot be disinfected, the head of health services or the chief health officer may destroy or cause to be destroyed, on the order of the chief executive officer concerned or the chief health officer, the article and no compensation is payable in respect of an article so destroyed.

 

(3)          If an article is damaged during disinfection, no compensation is payable by the local authority or the Ministry if suitable methods of disinfection have been employed and due care and all reasonable precautions have been taken to prevent damage.

 

(4)          Compensation is not payable in respect of the deprivation of the occupation or use of a premises or the use of an article occasioned by disinfection, if no undue delay has occurred.

 

Removal to cleansing stations of dirty and verminous persons

 

15.          If a cleansing station is provided within a local authority area or within a reasonable distance therefrom, a person within that local authority area certified by the head of health services or a health practitioner to be dirty or verminous may be removed, on the order of the head of health services, together with his or her clothing and bedding, to the cleansing station and be cleansed.

 

Removal orders

 

16.          (1)        An order made under sections 11 and 15 may be addressed to an authorised staff member of a local authority or the Ministry of Health.

 

(2)          A person who obstructs the execution of, or fails or refuses to comply with, an order referred to in subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Exposure of infected persons or things

 

17.          (1)        Subject to subsection (2), a person who -

 

(a)     knowingly suffering from a notifiable infectious disease, or the other infectious disease as the Minister may classify by notice in the Gazette to be a disease for the purposes of this section, exposes himself or herself in the manner as to be likely or liable to spread the disease in a street, public place, public building, shop, accommodation establishment, church or other place used, frequented or occupied in common by persons other than the members of the family or household to which the infected person belongs;

 

(b)     being in charge of a person, and knowing that the person is so suffering, so exposes the sufferer;

 

(c)     knowingly gives, lends, sells, pawns, transmits, removes or exposes, or sends to or permits to be washed or exposed in a public wash-house or washing-place, or in a laundry or other place at which articles are washed, cleansed or dyed, without previous effective disinfection to the satisfaction of the local authority and in accordance with the regulations in force in its area, a clothing, bedding, rags or other articles or things of any kind which have been exposed to or are contaminated with the infection of the disease; or

 

(d)     knowingly suffering from the disease contemplated in paragraph (a), handles, conveys or otherwise comes in contact with food, dairy produce, aerated water or other articles intended for consumption, or carries on a trade or occupation in the manner likely or liable to spread the disease,

 

commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

(2)          Nothing in this section applies to a person transmitting with proper precautions and in accordance with the instructions of the local authority a bedding, clothing or other articles or things for the purpose of having them disinfected.

 

[The article “a” before the word “bedding” is superfluous.]

 

Transport of infected persons or thing in public transport

 

18.          (1)        A -

 

(a)     person who knows that he or she is suffering from a notifiable infectious disease or other infectious disease which the Minister may classify by notice in the Gazette to be a disease for the purpose of this section may not enter a public transport;

 

(b)     person in charge of -

 

(i)      a person whom he or she knows to be suffering as contemplated in paragraph (a);

 

(ii)     the human remains of a person who to his or her knowledge has died of a disease contemplated in paragraph (a); or

 

(iii)    an article which to his or her knowledge has been exposed to or is contaminated with the infection of the disease,

 

may not place in a public transport the person, human remains or an article which to his or her knowledge has been so exposed or is so contaminated (except in the case of a hearse used for the removal of human remains), without first informing the owner or driver or conductor of the transport of the fact of the infection and obtaining his or her consent but subject to subsection (2).

 

(2)          The owner, driver or conductor of the public transport referred to in subsection (1) must as soon as possible after the transport been so used and before permitting the use by another person, cause it to be disinfected under the supervision and satisfaction of the head of health services or the chief health officer and in accordance with a regulations in force in the local authority area concerned.

 

[The article “a” before the term “regulations” should be omitted.]

 

(3)          For the purposes of this section “public transport”, includes a railway coach, cab, motor car or a vehicle, a boat, other vessel, or an aircraft if the transport solicits for hire or is used by members of the public.

 

(4)          A person who contravenes or fails or refuses to comply with subsection (1)         or (2) commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Infected dwellings not to be evacuated or let without previous disinfection

 

19.          (1)        A person may not cease to occupy or may not let a dwelling or premises or part in which to the knowledge of the person there is or has recently been a person suffering from a notifiable infectious disease without having the dwelling, premises or part and all articles which are liable to retain infection disinfected to the satisfaction of the local authority or the chief health officer and in accordance with the regulations in force in the local authority area concerned.

 

(2)          Subsection (1) applies to the owner or keeper of an accommodation establishment.

 

Removal and burial of human remains of persons who have died of notifiable infectious disease

 

20.          (1)        In every case of death from a notifiable infectious disease the occupier of the premises in which the death has occurred, must immediately make the best arrangements practical, pending the removal of the human remains and the carrying out of disinfection, for preventing the spread of the disease.

 

(2)          The occupier of the premises who keeps human remains of the person who has died of a notifiable infectious disease -

 

(a)     in a room in which a person lives, sleeps or works or in which food is kept or prepared or eaten; or

 

(b)     for more than 24 hours in a place other than a mortuary or other place set apart for the keeping of human remains,

 

unless he or she has obtained the written approval of the local authority in whose local authority area the human remains occurred, commits an offence.

 

(3)          A person who removes the human remains of a person who has died of a notifiable infectious disease from a dwelling or room, except for the purpose of burial, commits an offence.

 

(4)          A person who removes the human remains of a person who has died of a notifiable infectious disease from a room or dwelling, must take those human remains direct to the place of interment for burial.

 

(5)          Nothing in this section is considered to prevent the removal by due authority of a human remains from a hospital to a mortuary.

 

(6)          A person who has been convicted of contravening or failure to comply with subsection (1), (2) or (3) is liable to a fine not exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Post-mortem examinations of human remains of persons who have died of notifiable infectious disease

 

21.          (1)        The corpse of a person who has died of a notifiable infectious disease is not subject to a post-mortem examination, unless the cause of death need to be established, if -

 

[The verb “need” should be “needs” to be grammatically correct.]

 

(a)     the corpse is retained in a room in which -

 

(i)      another person lives;

 

(ii)     this same deceased person sleeps or works; or

 

(iii)    in which food is kept or prepared or eaten;

 

(b)     the corpse is retained without the written approval of the local authority concerned for more than 24 hours elsewhere than in a mortuary or other place reserved for the keeping of corpse;

 

(c)     the corpse is retained in a dwelling or place in circumstances which, in the opinion of the local authority, are likely to endanger health; or

 

(d)     the corpse is found within a local authority area and is unclaimed, or no competent person undertakes to bury it.

 

(2)          If any of the circumstance in subsection (1)(a) to (d) has occurred, a chairperson of a regional council, chief regional officer, magistrate, justice of the peace, head of health services or member of the Namibian police of above the rank of inspector -

 

(a)     may direct, on a certificate signed by a medical practitioner, that the corpse concerned be removed to a mortuary and be buried within a time to be specified in the certificate; or

 

(b)     if the human remains is of a person certified to have died of a notifiable infectious disease, may order that the corpse be buried immediately without removal to a mortuary.

 

(3)          Unless the friends or relatives of the deceased referred to in subsection (2) undertake to, and do, bury the corpse so specified, the local authority may bury the corpse and the cost of so doing be defrayed by the local authority concerned and be recovered by the local authority by action in a court of competent jurisdiction from a person legally liable to pay the expenses of interment.

 

(4)          A person who obstructs the execution of a directive or order given under subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Formidable epidemic diseases

 

22.          (1)        For the purposes of this Act, unless otherwise indicated plague, cholera, epidemic influenza, diarrhoea with blood (dysentery), malaria, measles, meningitis, poliomyelitis (acute flaccid paralysis), schistosomiasis, tuberculosis, viral hemorrhagic fever, yellow fever, emerging pandemic influenza disease e.g. avian flu, SARS and swine Flu (H1N1) Anthrax, smallpox, pneumonic plaque, ebola, viral haermorrhagic fever, dengue fever and rift valley fever are considered to be formidable epidemic diseases.

 

[The words “plague” and “hemorrhagic” are misspelt
in the Government Gazette, as reproduced above.]

 

(2)          The Minister may by notice in the Gazette declare a disease to be a formidable epidemic disease for purposes of this Act.

 

Notification of suspected cases of formidable epidemic diseases

 

23.          (1)        A medical practitioner, principal or head of a learning institution, head of a family or a household, employer, owner or occupier of land or premises, chief or headman must report to the nearest health facility or local authority health services, together with particulars of the patient and his or her symptoms, the occurrence of a case of illness or death coming to his or her notice and suspected to be due to a formidable epidemic disease, or with a history or presenting symptoms or post- mortem appearances which might reasonably give grounds for the suspicion.

 

(2)          A person who, is aware of any of the diseases referred to is subsection (1), and who fails to comply with subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

[The comma after the word “who” is superfluous, and the word “is”
in the phrase “is subsection (1)” should be “in”.]

 

Notification of sickness or mortality in animals

 

24.          (1)        A person who becomes aware of unusual sickness, behaviour or mortality among rats, mice, cats, dogs or other animals susceptible to plague or other epidemic disease, not due to poison or other obvious cause, must immediately report the fact to a chief, headmen, councillors, local authority, head of health services, state veterinarian or member of the Namibian police.

 

(2)          A person who contravenes, refuses or fails to comply with subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Local authority to report notification of formidable epidemic diseases and execution of speedy communications

 

25.          A local authority must -

 

(a)     immediately report to the chief health officer by fax, telephone, e-mail or other expeditious means particulars of every notification received by it of a case or suspected case of a formidable epidemic disease, or of unusual sickness, behaviour or mortality in animals reported under section 24; and

 

(b)     do and provide all the acts, matters and things within its means as may be necessary for mitigating the disease.

 

Powers of Minister if local authority fails to adequately deal with formidable epidemic disease

 

26.          (1)        If, upon a report of the chief health officer it appears to the Minister that an outbreak of a formidable epidemic disease or a disease suspected of being a formidable epidemic disease -

 

(a)     has occurred or is threatening within the area of a local authority; and

 

(b)     is not being investigated or dealt with efficiently and so as adequately to safeguard public health,

 

despite other provision of this Act, the Minister may inform the local authority of the measures which the Minister is taking.

 

(2)          If the local authority concerned fails or is for a reason unable to forthwith carry out the measures concerned to the satisfaction of the Minister, the Minister may authorise the chief health officer or another local authority to take all necessary steps for dealing with the outbreak.

 

(3)          If the Minister has authorised the chief health officer or another local authority as contemplated in subsection (2), the chief health officer or the authorised local authority possesses for the purpose concerned all rights and powers of the local authority in default, including the obligations attaching to the exercise of the powers.

 

(4)          A portion of expenditure incurred by virtue of subsection (1) which is payable by the authorised local authority may be recovered from the local authority in default in the manner provided for in section 29(3) of the National Health Act.

 

Requisition of buildings, equipment or other articles

 

27.          (1)        If an outbreak of a formidable epidemic disease exists or is threatening, the Minister may require from or may authorise a local authority to require from a person owning or having charge of -

 

(a)     a land or a building not occupied as dwellings; or

 

(b)     tents, transport bedding, hospital equipment, drugs, food or other appliances, materials or articles urgently required in connection with the outbreak,

 

to hand over the use of the land, building or to supply or make available article, subject to the payment of a reasonable amount as hire or purchase price.

 

[The word “the” appears to have been omitted before the word “article”.]

 

(2)          A person who contravenes or fails to comply with this section commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Declaration of public health emergency

 

28.          (1)        If the Minister is satisfied that the occurrence or threatened outbreak of a formidable epidemic disease constitutes a health emergency in Namibia which threatens the life of and well-being of the nation, the Minister may in writing advise the President to declare a public health emergency as contemplated in Article 26 of the Namibian Constitution.

 

(2)          A declaration of public health emergency contemplated in subsection (1) must specify -

 

(a)     the nature of the emergency;

 

(b)     the affected area;

 

(c)     the commencement date, as well as the period during which the declaration is to remain in force; and

 

(d)     the conditions relating to the conduct of the response to the emergency.

 

(3)          The President may extend, on the recommendation of the Minister, the period during which the declaration is to remain in force.

 

Powers of Minister regarding public health emergency or occurrence or threatened outbreak of formidable epidemic disease

 

29.          (1)        If the President has declared a public health emergency as contemplated in section 28(1) or if the occurrence or threatened outbreak of a formidable epidemic disease necessitates it, the Minister may in writing issue directives or make regulations as he or she considers to be necessary or desirable to alleviate the public health emergency, occurrence or threatened outbreak of a formidable epidemic disease, including directives or actions to be taken in relation to -

 

(a)     the reduction or removal of a threat to public health;

 

(b)     the segregation or isolation of a person in an area;

 

(c)     the evacuation or permission of access to an area;

 

(d)     the control of the movement to and from the affected area;

 

(e)     the imposition and enforcement of quarantine and the regulation and restriction of public traffic and of the movements of persons;

 

(f)      the closing of schools and the restriction of school attendance and a other learning institutions;

 

[The word “a” before the phrase “other learning institutions” is superfluous. The provision may have been intended to refer to “attendance at schools and other learning institutions”.]

 

(g)     the closing of churches and Sunday schools and the restriction of gatherings or meetings for the purpose of public worship;

 

(h)     the closing of a place of public entertainment, recreation or amusement, or where intoxicating liquor is sold;

 

(i)      if considered necessary, the prohibition of the convening, holding or attending of entertainments, assemblies, meetings or other public gatherings;

 

(j)      the prevention and remedying of overcrowding or the keeping of a dwelling, other building or the contents in a dirty or in a sanitary or a verminous condition;

 

[The phrase “a sanitary… condition” must have been intended
to refer “an unsanitary… condition”.]

 

(k)     the medical examination of -

 

(i)      a person who is suspected of being infected with, or who may have recently been exposed to the infection of, the disease; or

 

(ii)     a person about to depart from a infected area;

 

[The article “a” before the term “infected area” should be “an”.]

 

(l)      the disinfection of the baggage and personal effects of a person contemplated in paragraph (k);

 

(m)    the detention of persons until they have after the examination been certified to be free from a infectious disease and until their baggage and personal effects have been disinfected;

 

[The article “a” before the term “infectious disease” should be “an”.]

 

(n)     the keeping under medical observation or surveillance or the removal, detention and isolation, of persons who may have recently been exposed to the infection, and who may be in the incubation stage of the disease;

 

(o)     the detention and isolation of persons until released by due authority;

 

(p)     the use of guards and force for that purpose;

 

(q)     in case of absolute necessity, the use of firearms or other weapons and the arrest without warrant of a person who has escaped from the detention or isolation facilities;

 

(r)      the establishment of isolation facilities;

 

(s)      the removal and isolation of persons who are or are suspected to be suffering from a disease;

 

(t)      the accommodation, classification, care and control of persons and their detention until discharged by due authority as recovered and free from infection;

 

(u)     the establishment, management and control of convalescent homes or similar institutions for the accommodation of persons who have recovered from the disease;

 

(v)     the making of enquiries into the cause of death of a person, apart from a inquiry by a competent court under a other law;

 

[The word “a” before the term “inquiry” should be “an”, and
the word “a” before the phrase “other law” was probably intended to be “any”.]

 

(w)    the ordering, if considered necessary, of post-mortem examinations or of exhumations;

 

(x)     the prohibition in special circumstances of the burial of a human remains, except on a certificate by a medical officer appointed to grant the certificates or after compliance with a other specified conditions, including the mode of disposal, the times and places of burial of human remains and the manner of conducting removals and burials;

 

[The word “a” before the phrase “other specified conditions” should be “any”.]

 

(y)     the restriction and prohibition of the removal of merchandise or a article or thing into, out of or within a specified or defined area;

 

[The word “a” before the term “article” should be “an”.]

 

(z)     the mandatory provision of information for the purpose of investing, preventing, controlling or abating a disease;

 

(aa)    the instruction to a person to take action that is reasonably required to prevent control or abate a disease;

 

(ab)   the disinfecting of plant and equipment and the disinfection, or if disinfection is impossible, the destruction of an article or thing or the disinfection of a premises which are believed to be infected;

 

(ac)    the inspection of premises and articles and remedying of sanitary or other defects likely to favour the spread or render difficult the eradication of the disease;

 

(ad)   the evacuation, closing, alteration or, if considered necessary, the demolition or destruction of a premises the occupation or use of which is considered likely to favour the spread or render more difficult the eradication of the disease;

 

(ae)    the description of the circumstances under which compensation may be paid in respect of a premises so demolished or destroyed and the manner of determining compensation;

 

(af)    in the case of plague, the destruction of rodents and the removal or rectifying of the conditions likely to favour the harbourage or multiplication of rodents and the disposal of the carcasses of rodents or other animals believed or suspected to have died of plague;

 

(ag)    the relief, during the continuance of the epidemic of acute distress including the maintenance of children whose parents or guardians are suffering from or have died of the disease;

 

(ah)   the manner of requisitioning accommodation, equipment or other articles under clause 27 and the manner of fixing rates of hire or purchase price and the conditions of payment; and

 

(ai)    the other matters as the Minister may consider necessary for preventing the occurrence of the disease or limiting or preventing the spread of the disease or for the eradication of the disease, and, generally for better carrying out and attaining the objects and purposes of this Part.

 

(2)          The directives issued or regulations made under subsection (1) also apply to persons about to depart from Namibia or entering Namibia in the course of a journey to another state or territory.

 

(3)          A person who contravenes or fails to comply with a directive issued or regulations made under subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Powers of authorised persons during declared public health emergency

 

30.          (1)        While a declaration of public health emergency is in force a person authorised in writing by the Minister may -

 

(a)     enter, using the reasonable force and assistance as is necessary, a place to -

 

(i)      prevent injury to a person; or

 

(ii)     rescue an endangered person;

 

(b)     prevent access to a place;

 

(c)     close pedestrian, vehicular traffic, a roadway, path or a other thoroughfare;

 

[The word “a” before the phrase “other thoroughfare”
should be “any”, or else omitted.]

 

(d)     in respect of a licence, permit or certificate over which an environmental health practitioner has authority under this Act, suspend or vary the license, permit or certificate concerned, without providing to the holder thereof a remedy or opportunity to dispute the suspension or variation concerned;

 

(e)     conduct an inspection at a time with or without a warrant, including a private dwelling; or

 

(f)      collect, use or disclose for purposes of this Act, information, including personal information.

 

(2)          While a declaration of public health emergency is in force, the Minister or an authorised person contemplated in subsection (1) may in writing authorise a staff member to -

 

(a)     exercise a power or perform a function in a geographic area for which the person has not been designated for; and

 

(b)     exercise a power or perform a function that is not normally permitted by the designation of the person.

 

(3)          A staff member who has been authorised as contemplated in subsection (2)         must act in accordance with the authorisation until the Minister or the authorised person terminates the authorisation.

 

(4)          A person who -

 

(a)     hinders an authorised person or an authorised staff member in the exercise, performance or carrying out of his or her powers or functions; or

 

(b)     prevents the person or staff member to exercise, perform or carry out his or her powers or functions as contemplated in subsections (1) and (2),

 

commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Appointment of emergency management and response committees

 

31.          (1)        If it is considered necessary for the purpose of co-ordinating effort or otherwise for more effectively dealing with or preventing an outbreak of a formidable epidemic disease, the Minister may -

 

(a)     constitute, by notice in the Gazette, a committee to be known as an emergency management and response committee for a defined area to -

 

(i)      discharge the functions in connection with the outbreaks; and

 

(ii)     administer so much of this Act,

 

as may be specified in the notice; and

 

(b)     make regulations regarding -

 

(i)      the appointment of members of the committees;

 

(ii)     the conduct of proceedings of the committees;

 

(iii)    the manner in which accounts must be kept; or

 

(iv)    other matter relative to the committee.

 

(2)          If an area defined as contemplated in subsection (1) includes wholly or partly the area or areas of one or more local authorities, the -

 

(a)     composition of an emergency management and response committee; and

 

(b)     manner of allocating and defraying expenditure incurred by the committee,

 

are as may be mutually agreed in advance between the Minister and the local authority or local authorities concerned, or failing the agreement, as the Minister may, subject to this Act, determine.

 

(3)          In the event of the occurrence or threatened outbreak of a formidable epidemic disease in a local authority area for which a chairperson of a regional council is the local authority, the Minister may constitute an advisory committee of three or more persons resident in the local authority area concerned to advice and assist the chairperson of a regional council.

 

[The word “advice” should be “advise”.]

 

Advances to local authorities

 

32.          (1)        On the terms and conditions as the Minister, in concurrence with the Minister responsible for finance, may determine, the Minister may authorise the making of advances to a local authority or emergency management and response committee for the purpose of dealing with an outbreak of an infectious disease.

 

(2)          The Minister may enter into an agreement with a local authority concerned which regulate the repayment of the advance.

 

(3)          In default of repayment of an advance made to a local authority, the Minister may recover the amount concerned from the local authority in the manner provided for in section 29(3) of the National Health Act.

 

(4)          The Minister, in concurrence with the Minister responsible for finance, may determine and authorise the making of advances to a local authority to enable the local authority to pay a proportion of the capital expenditure incurred by the local authority in providing suitable hospitals or places of isolation for persons suffering from a infectious disease, and may recover, in the manner provided for in section 29(3) of the National Health Act, the advances so made.

 

[The word “a” before the term “infectious disease” should be “an”.]

 

(5)          A certificate by the Minister is conclusive proof of the amount of money advanced to or expended on behalf of a local authority under this section.

 

Refunds to local authorities

 

33.          The Minister may authorise -

 

(a)     the refund of 50% of the approved net cost actually and necessarily incurred by a local authority or by two or more local authorities acting jointly, in providing and equipping an isolation hospital or other isolation accommodation for -

 

(i)      persons suffering from a infectious disease; or

 

[The word “a” before the term “infectious disease” should be “an”.]

 

(ii)     detained under medical observation because of exposure to the infection of a formidable epidemic disease,

 

but the Minister must approve the strategy as a whole and the plan of actions, specifications of equipments and supplies and cost estimates before the expenditure or a liability is incurred;

 

[The phrase “plan of actions” was probably intended to be “plan of action”.
The word “equipments” should be “equipment”.]

 

(b)     the refund of 50% of the approved net cost actually and necessarily incurred by a local authority, or by two or more local authorities acting jointly, in connection with -

 

(i)      the management and maintenance of an isolation hospital or other isolation accommodation; or

 

(ii)     the maintenance and treatment in a other hospital or place of isolation of persons suffering or suspected to be suffering from a infectious disease or of persons detained under medical observation because of exposure to the infection of an epidemic disease,

 

[The word “a” before the phrase “other hospital or place of isolation” was probably intended
to be “any”. The word “a” before the term “infectious disease” should be “an”.]

 

the net costs being determined after deduction of a revenue; or

 

[The word “a” before “revenue” should be omitted.]

 

(c)     the refund of 50% of the approved net cost actually and necessarily incurred by a local authority, or by two or more local authorities acting jointly or by an emergency management and response committee, in preventing, investigating, dealing with or suppressing an outbreak of a formidable epidemic disease or an outbreak suspected on reasonable grounds to be of such disease, including, if necessary, the provision of temporary isolation hospital accommodation.

 

___