NEW VIRUS MUTATION APPEARS IN MANY COUNTRIES BUT ONLY SOUTHERN AFRICAN COUNTRIES HIT WITH EMBARGOS
(Posted 28th November 2021)
Qatar Airways, like before Emirates, Lufthansa, KLM, British Airways and other major carriers, have now also put restrictions on passengers out of several Southern African countries and put out the following statement:
‘Due to the recent emergence of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, and with immediate effect, Qatar Airways will no longer be accepting passengers travelling from five Southern African countries in our global network. However, we will continue to accept passengers for travel into these countries in-line with current restrictions.
Passengers who are booked on Qatar Airways flights from seven destinations, Luanda (LAD), Angola; Maputo (MPM), Mozambique; Johannesburg (JNB), Capetown (CPT), Durban (DUR),South Africa; Lusaka (LUN), Zambia; and Harare (HRE), Zimbabwe, will not be accepted for travel until further notice.
These restrictions will remain in place until we receive further guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO). We will continue to review the situation on a daily basis as new information becomes available.‘
Notably has the WHO asked member states to refrain from such reactions until more information is available of the new virus mutation while wide sections of the global media have almost instantly resumed their notorious Africa bashing.
A regular ATCNews reader from Malawi in fact pointed out that all 12 new infections of the last several days were checked out and found not to be of the new virus mutation but the country was still bundled into the group of no can fly countries by several carriers – though not by Qatar Airways – in almost total ignorance of reality.
It can only be hoped, now that the new virus mutation has in fact popped already up in Asia and Europe, that cooler minds prevail and common sense returns with flight restrictions lifted as soon as possible.
The tourism sectors of Southern Africa, already pushed to the brink over the past 18 months of the pandemic and only recently starting to recover, are now once again the direct victims of political decisions taken in Europe and elsewhere, putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk and further undermining economic recovery in some of the economically most affected countries.