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RPT-Namibia opens airports and schools but extends overnight curfew

(Adds reporting credit. Text unchanged)

WINDHOEK, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Namibia will lift lockdown restrictions, allowing international travel, schools to reopen and onsite alcohol consumption from September, President Hage Geingob announced Friday, but he extended an overnight curfew as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

The southern African country of two million now has 6,906 confirmed COVID-19 cases and the disease is not yet contained -- of its 65 deaths, 55 were in August alone.

But as with other southern African nations, leaders are weighing the impact of the virus against the huge economic and social damage done by lockdowns.

“The virus is likely to remain in our midst for a prolonged time and we must learn to live with it ... learning to live with the virus means adapting our attitudes and behaviours so that we can reduce the damage it can do to our country,” Geingob said in a televised address.

He announced an 8 pm to 5 am curfew in place in the capital Windhoek and the Erongo region – COVID-19 hotspots - will be introduced across the country.

But Hosea Kutako International Airport will open its doors to international travellers from Tuesday, while schools, vocational education training providers and universities will be allowed to hold onsite classes from Sept. 7.

Restaurants and hotels outside worst-affected Windhoek and the Erongo region can start selling meals and alcohol to be consumed on the premises, the president announced. (Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa, Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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