The Government of Burundi has announced plans to reopen Melchior Ndadaye International Airport on 8 November.

It was closed for around eight months to restrict the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The announcement was made by the Burundian Government’s spokesman Prosper Ntahorwamiye on state broadcaster Burundi National Radio and Television, reported Xinhua.

Melchior Ndadaye International Airport will be reopened under stringent observance of Covid-19 prevention measures.

Ntahorwamiye said: “Incoming and outgoing travellers will have to show a negative result of the test to Covid-19 done 72 hours before their embarkation.”

On arriving at the airport, passengers, after screening, will be required to quarantine for 72 hours in chosen hotels, with passengers bearing the testing and lodging expenses.

Ntahorwamiye continued: “If a positive case is diagnosed in a bus or plane then a second test will be imposed on all passengers. Those test negative to Covid-19 will be released.”

Meanwhile, Ntahorwamiye added that the land and marine border restrictions would be relaxed in a phased manner, based on the sanitary infrastructure.

Burundi Times reported that the country’s borders were closed in March after the first case of coronavirus was recorded. Only cargo, diplomatic and humanitarian flights were permitted to fly in and out of the country.

Last month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) called for continued financial support for aviation as the shutdown of air transport continues across various parts of the world.

The association also reiterated the urgent need to reopen borders with Covid-19 testing.