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 Gambia updates COVID-19 quarantine and testing procedure for visitors to West African country

The Gambian Ministry of Health has informed the general public about an update on the testing guidance for passengers coming into the West African country.

This information was conveyed via a press statement issued on January 5, 2021 and signed by the Minister of Health, Honourable Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh.

According to the statement, the Ministry of Health is monitoring the progress on the pandemic, noting that “there is a fast-spreading new strain of the coronavirus which has emerged in the UK and now in many other countries.

Its potential implications for public health have begun to be examined, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).”

In the light of this, the country’s Ministry of Health has required that all travelers coming from hotspot countries where the new strain of coronavirus has been identified will undergo sample taking and testing upon arrival in the country in addition to having a valid COVID-19 PCR test results of 72hrs.

Furthermore, these travelers must undergo mandatory quarantine at their own cost, according to the statement. In addition, “Samples that are found positive upon their testing on arrival in The Gambia, will have the virus strain sequenced to confirm the genome.”

All other travelers from countries not identified as hotspot for the new strain of COVID-19 must provide a valid negative PCR test to go on home isolation. Effective 9th January, 2021 the hot spot countries that these restrictions will apply to are as follows (additional countries could be added at the discretion of the Ministry of Health):

United Kingdom

Belgium

Italy

USA

France

Japan

Singapore

Spain

South Africa

South Korea

Sweden

Jordan

Lebanon

The Netherlands

Turkey

Norway

India

Pakistan

Chile

Switzerland

Denmark

The Ministry of Health seeks compliance of the public to this order.

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