Somalia to lift domestic flight restrictions on 8 June

A ban on domestic flights that has been in place for two months now will be lifted on 8 June, government officials have said.

The ban was part of a raft of measures imposed by the federal government intended to limit the spread of coronavirus in the country.

One flight will be allowed for each region a day, with the flights to the Jubbaland regional state going to Gedo Region instead of Kismayo.

The reason Kismayo has been singled out is not clear. The federal government has in the past imposed flight restrictions on Kismayo to punish the administration of Ahmed Madobe, who has been involved in a protracted dispute with the federal government.

Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mohamed Abdullahi Salad Oomar, said travellers and flight workers will be required to follow instructions on the prevention of coronavirus issued by the ministry of health.

The suspension of the ban on local flights was previously expected to take effect before May 3 according to officials.

The development comes despite continued spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, with the total number of cases exceeding 2000 a few days ago.