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Cape Verde to reopen in time for tourist season

Agence France-Presse . Praia | Published: 23:13, Oct 10,2020

 
 

Cape Verde is set to reopen its borders on Monday, the government said, after the coronavirus pandemic forced the archipelago state to close to visitors for months.

Visitors to the West African country will have to provide proof of a negative coronavirus result from a high-precision molecular test, known as a PCR test.

‘The government has decided that the time has come to restore full air links with the outside world,’ Transport Minister Carlos Santos said during a press conference on Friday.

Cruise ships and commercial vessels will also be able to dock in Cape Verde from Monday, he added.

Sunseekers have traditionally flocked to the 10-island archipelago, where tourism represents about a quarter of its GDP.

The former Portuguese colony’s high season falls over the winter months.

The government banned commercial flights after the outbreak of the pandemic, but initial plans to lift the restrictions in July were delayed.

Health officials in Cape Verde have since recorded some 6,700 coronavirus cases to date, including 71 fatalities.

Transport Minister Santos said the country had strengthened its testing capabilities ahead of its reopening, including establishing testing centres on the islands of Sal and Boa Vista -- both tourist draws.

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