Malawi will reopen its main airport and public schools on Sept. 1 and 7, respectively, as it moves to ease COVID-19 restrictions imposed in April this year.

Education Minister Agnes Nyalonje said the reopening of schools will be in phases.

She said the reopening is only for classes sitting national examinations and fourth year universities. The lower grades will reopen later in October.

“We will begin with those that administer national examinations and are expecting exams soon. At primary and secondary school levels, we will prioritise examination classes and at tertiary level, we will prioritise final year classes,” Nyalonje told journalists in the capital, Lilongwe.

Malawi will also lift a travel ban and reopen the main airport, a top government official said.

“While noting the continuance of the COVID-9 pandemic, the government has carefully considered the adverse effects of the suspension of air travel on all the sectors of the economy and has therefore decided to lift the [airport] suspension with effect from 1 September 2020,” said James Chakwera, acting director of Civil Aviation in a statement.

He said to control the spread of the virus only Kamuzu International Airport in the country’s capital will reopen.

“Arriving passengers will be required to test for COVID-19 and self quarantine for 14 days,” Chakwera said.

According to figures shared by the Health Ministry, there is a significant decrease in new cases and deaths in the eastern African nation.

Last month, new COVID-19 cases reached a peak at 2,784 and 104 deaths but since then positive cases have been on decline.

Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo told Anadolu Agency via telephone that the decrease in new cases does not mean Malawi is cleared of COVID-19.

“It’s still here and it’s still aggressive, so people should continue observing prevention measures,” Kandodo said.

As of Thursday, Malawi has recorded 5,496 positive case and 173 deaths.

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