Ivory Coast said Thursday it would resume international flights from July 1 after almost three months of being grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Domestic flights will resume on June 26, while land and sea borders will remain closed until at least July 15, Health Minister Eugene Aka Aoule said at a press briefing following a national security council meeting.
A state of emergency will stay in place and the greater Abidjan region, home to over five million people — a fifth of the population of the world’s top cocoa grower — will continue to remain isolated from the rest of the country, he said.
The region, which includes the country’s economic capital, accounts for nearly all of the more than 8,000 recorded coronavirus cases, including 58 deaths, the minister said.
Travellers arriving in the West African country will be subject to “control on arrival and monitoring during their stay thanks to a geolocation system,” he added.
Ivory Coast is one of the first African countries to announce the resumption of its international flights.
Zambia said on Thursday that it would immediately reopen all three of the landlocked country’s international airports to help revitalise the tourism sector hit hard by the pandemic.
Liberia is due to reopen its Monrovia International Airport on Sunday.
Ivory Coast began to ease its measures against coronavirus last month, lifting a curfew and allowing for the gradual resumption of classes and the reopening of shops and restaurants, while entertainment venues and nightclubs would remain shut.