MOST OF EAST AFRICA’S AIRLINES MUST WAIT A LOT LONGER BEFORE GETTING EU ENTRY PERMISSION
(Posted 29th June 2020)
Australia and New Zealand are joined by Georgia, Japan, Canada, Montenegro, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay as countries listed with permission to enter the European Union from outside the Schengen zone after the lockdown comes to an end over the next two weeks.
From Africa only four countries qualify as of now, Algeria, Morocco and Tunesia from North Africa and from sub Saharan Africa only Rwanda have been named.
China could as per information at hand join the list if they in turn lift the entry restrictions for European citizens.
The EU move, expected to be formally sanctioned later this week – though the final decision to implement the wider opening will rest with the individual member countries – puts a damper on the hope of many African airlines to resume regular scheduled flight services into EU destinations, once their own home governments have lifted present restrictions.
The EU list reflects how the authorities in Brussels judge readiness, COVID19 management, current case load, reciprocity and other factors when it comes to opening up their own airspace again and notably have the US and the UK failed to pass the test for now.
It was pointed out by a source from Brussels, that even when airspaces for African countries have been opened, visitors using third country airlines to connect to their final destination via a foreign hub, will upon their return back home to the EU have to undergo quarantine requirements as each country has in place, to prevent the import of more cases into the EU by travelers unwilling to factor in the risk they take when visiting such countries.
Rwanda is the only country listed in sub Saharan Africa and East Africa, and will see their presence on the list as a vindication of their anti COVID19 measures taken, even though their latest case load has now risen to 1.001 as of last evening.
Tanzania, a COVID19 pariah country which is refusing to report case numbers, but also Kenya with now 6.190 cases, Ethiopia with 5.846 cases, South Sudan with 1.989 cases and Uganda with 870 cases have all been left out of the list for a variety of reasons, among them case numbers, pandemic management and air traffic entry restrictions as are in place in individual countries.
Once the EU – following the anticipated reopening of their airspace over the next two weeks – adds more countries will ATCNews report updates accordingly.