The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has also called on governments to keep their borders open despite the rapid spread of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.
In this regard, Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, emphasized that the company supports the position of the World Health Organization (WHO) in calling for borders to be kept open and safe for continued travel, TheSchengen.com reports.
“Closing borders will not prevent the spread of new variants. The latest variant is increasingly being detected in countries around the world. The way to stay safe, Simpson noted, is to focus on the vaccination status of individual travelers rather than putting entire countries on red lists.
The President and CEO of the WTTC also stressed that rather than stigmatizing high-risk countries, such as South Africa, that rely heavily on strong travel and tourism, we “should salute” them for discovering the new strain so quickly.
“Until we fully understand this new strain, we must focus on prioritizing global distribution of vaccines while adopting reasonable measures such as wearing masks,” Simpson emphasized.
Once the new variant of COVID-19 was identified in other countries, the authorities of European countries began imposing stricter entry rules and other restrictions to prevent an increase in cases of the COVID-19 virus. However, the World Health Organization has called on governments to keep borders open.
The World Health Organization said that countries should find other alternatives in order to stop the spread of the virus further, rather than imposing a flight ban and other similar measures.
Previously, French Prime Minister Jean Castix stressed that not all people arriving in the country from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini and Lesotho will be allowed to enter France for at least 48 hours. , which was then extended indefinitely.
Besides, authorities in Switzerland have stressed that arrivals from Canada, Japan, Portugal and Nigeria will be obligated to follow the strict entry rules imposed due to COVID-19.
In addition, the Danish Foreign Ministry called on citizens to avoid non-essential travel to avoid non-essential travel to Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe due to the epidemiological situation in these territories.
Other countries such as Finland, Lithuania and the Czech Republic have also restricted entry to all people trying to reach these countries from southern Africa amid concerns about the COVID-19 variant Omicron.