COUNTRIES, OFTEN VERY BELATEDLY, NOW PUT SWEEPING MEASURES INTO PLACE TO CONTAIN THE VIRUS SPREAD
(Posted Saturday the 14th of March 2020 – from the Observatory by Geolodges, Rubirizi District, Uganda)
ATCNews has been following up on the reaction of several countries vis a vis travel, by air, rail and road, and the following examples are now available for readers to internalise and absorb – and then prepare their next moves when it comes to keeping their businesses afloat:
- Czech Republic closes its borders: almost no-one will be allowed to enter or leave the country [source]
- Turkey: all flights from Turkey to Germany, France, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands are halted until 17 April [source]
- Pakistan shuts land borders and limits flights [source]
- Oman has already suspended tourist visas for all visitors for 1 month [source]
- Iraq adds Germany and Qatar to its coronavirus entry ban list, which now includes 13 countries [source]
- Qatar already banned entry of people coming from India and 13 other nations [source]
- Ukraine closes borders to foreign visitors for 2 weeks [source]
- Slovakia closes borders for non-residents [source]
- Israel on March 9 ordered a 14-day quarantine for anyone entering country [source]
- India: effective today, all tourist visas and OCI entries are suspended until at least April 15. 14-day quarantine for citizens returning from seven countries: China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, France and Germany [source] India had already banned, on March 3, entry to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Japan [source]
- United States: travel ban from Europe goes into effect today at 23:59 ET [original document] Applies to foreign nationals that have been to a country within the Schengen area in the past 14 days
- Uganda has published a list of ‘Category 1’ countries which nationals must undergo a 14 day quarantine while ‘Category 2’ and ‘Category 3′ countries will be subject to different levels of observation. This being the ATCNews’ publisher’s home country are added details shared here with readers. (http://health.go.ug/press-release)
All this poses immense challenges to airlines, cruise lines, rail and bus operators, tour operators and travel companies – other sectors of the economy too of course – and while an even fuller impact may yet come, given that other countries too are considering radical measures, is now the time to devising an action plan for the post-COVID19 era to start recovery of the tourism and aviation sectors just as soon as the crisis is over.
This must involve both governments and the private sector, with the two sides in need to thinking outside their usual boxes and providing stimulating measures to, at that time, kickstart domestic and international tourism.
Norway has taken the lead on this, giving their aviation industry a considerable boost but other countries, especially in Africa where aviation and tourism are massively overtaxed and saddled with a multitude of licence requirements and fees.
ATCNews will continue to highlight emerging situations, with special emphasis on Africa of course, and guest contributions and extended dialogue are invited and most welcome to capture as many constructive and positive forward looking ideas as can be collected.
Meanwhile also a great big thank you to all the new readers who came on board, here at www.ATCNews.org and through our social media platforms. We will try to live up to your expectations.