by DION HENRICK in Cape Town
Western Cape Bureau
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – THE World Tourism Organisation (WTO) has welcomed the end of the public health emergency phase for COVID-197.
WTO believes this recent announcement represents a major milestone in the global effort to combat the virus.
“We welcome WHO’s decision to end the emergency status for COVID-19,” said WTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.
WHO is an acronym for the World Health Organisation.
“This is an important signal and a moment to stand back and reflect on how we can overcome challenges only in a collaborative manner. We must ensure that we learn the lessons from this phase of the pandemic, including the ones on travel restrictions.”
Tourism, globally, was among the sectors worst hit by the pandemic.
The evolution of travel restrictions, which peaked in May 2020 when 75 percent of all destinations worldwide had their borders completely closed, brought international tourism almost to a standstill.
Nearly all destinations have lifted COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
However, as of March 2023, some 18 destinations still required vaccination as a condition for entry, which is not consistent with International Health Regulation provisions or current temporary WHO recommendations.
WTO said it would continue its close cooperation with WHO monitoring the situation.
– CAJ News