By Chisomo Phiri

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-In an effort to contain further spread of COVID-19 pandemic through the country’s entry points, the Presidential Task-force on COVID-19 has revised and tightens guidelines on Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) requirements on all outgoing and incoming travelers which are expected to come into effect from May 1, 2022.

This follows the meeting that the Taskforce’s technical team held on Wednesday April 27, 2022 in the capital city Lilongwe.

COVID-19 Presidential taskforce tightens PCR requirement on travelers

According to the statement released on Friday April 29,2022 and signed by the Health Ministry Secretary Charles Mwansambo, the new guidelines will include Lift Mandatory Polymerase Chain Reaction ( PCR) test results requirements for outgoing travellers where obtaining PCR or Rapid Diagonostic Test ( RDT) results will depend on the destination country’s requirements.

Here, the statement further clarifies that requirements for full vaccination will also be determined by country of destination.

On second guideline, the Taskforce says arriving travelers of nationalities, including Malawians will in addition required to produce a negative PCR based COVID-19 certificate that is not order than 72 hours at the time of arrival and be expected to show a valid electronically verifiable COVID-19 full vaccination certificate at point of entry.

“Arriving travelers that are not able to show an electronically verifiable COVID-19 vaccine certificate at the point of entry, shall be expected to access COVID-19 vaccine that will be available for free at the point of entry before being processed to enter or re-enter the country,” reads the guidelines statement.

It adds, “Travelers that are not able to produce a valid electronically verifiable COVID-19 vaccine certificate and refuse to access COVID-19 offered free at point of entry will be required to undergo institutional quarantine for symptoms monitoring for 10 days at their cost”.

Despite having a drop in number of COVID-19 cases within past two months, there are still fears of having the number rise again as South Africa is reported to have been hit by what is believed to be 5th wave of the pandemic from Thursday this week.

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