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15.07.2020 Senegal

Senegal resumes international flights after four months

By AFP
Senegal closed its air borders in mid-March to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.  By JOHN WESSELS (AFP)
LISTEN JUL 15, 2020
Senegal closed its air borders in mid-March to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. By JOHN WESSELS (AFP)

Senegal resumed international flights on Wednesday, four months after severing air links because of the coronavirus pandemic.

An Air Algerie flight arrived at Dakar's international airport at midnight Tuesday and six other flights were scheduled to depart and arrive throughout the day, according to the Ministry of Air Transport.

Passengers departing for the West African country are required to present proof from an approved laboratory that they have tested negative for coronavirus within the previous seven days.

The certificate has to come from a lab in the country where the trip originated.

"I can confirm that everything is going well," the ministry's director of air transport, Omar Khassimou Dia, told AFP.

International commercial flights for repatriation had continued to depart and arrive intermittently in Dakar after the closure of air borders in March.

Land and sea borders remain closed.

Senegal lifted its state of emergency and curfew, imposed in March to stem the spread of the virus, at the end of June.

The restrictions had triggered violent protests, as seen in several countries in the region.

The number of cases in Senegal continues to climb, however, with more than 8,300 infections and 153 deaths recorded since March 2.

President Macky Sall said in a televised speech last month that the impoverished country could see a recession due to the pandemic, and that "productive activity must be resumed in order to get our economy going again".

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