Coronavirus Update: More tourists stuck in Africa after links to Europe, China restricted

Tourists from a number of European countries were unable to leave after flights were suspended to many European countries and also to China and Algeria on Saturday.

35 Italian tourists in Ethiopia on weekend resolved not to return to Italy despite the expiration of their visas while others were stranded in Morocco on Saturday after the kingdom announced strict border restrictions in response to the coronavirus, leaving travellers stuck at borders, ports, and airports.

Morocco suspended air, sea and land links with European countries and Algeria on Friday, as well as taking measures to confine citizens to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Flights to and from Algeria, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Italy were suspended “until further notice”, while sea links for passengers and Morocco’s land borders with Ceuta and a second Spanish enclave, Melilla, were closed.

The number of people infected by a coronavirus in Italy has risen over 25000. A further 175 have been killed by the airborne Sars-like disease in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s death toll to 1,441.

A little more than half of those new cases occurred in the northern region of Lombardy, which has been the worst affected area in Europe. The country has been put on lockdown with strict emergency measures in place to prevent the deadly bug’s spread.

After arriving in Morocco for a motorcycle tour with his partner earlier this month, the 33-year-old Italian was stuck at a service station outside Cueta.

Situation reverse

Uganda became one of the latest countries to impose new restrictions when it announced that visitors from 16 countries – including 11 European countries and the United States – would be requested to postpone their travel to Uganda.

If they insisted on visiting, people from these countries would be required to quarantine themselves for two weeks, the Ugandan Health Ministry said.

“This means one will stay at his/her home, hotel room or any identified accommodation without mixing with family members or the general public for a period of 14 days,” Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said in the announcement.

She said her ministry is also considering a plan to spray a disinfectant on all travellers, from head to foot, as they disembark from their aircraft on arrival in Uganda.

Earlier this week, Uganda deported 22 visitors, mostly tourists who had flown into the country. They were from countries where the coronavirus is spreading, and they refused to go into self-quarantine, officials said, without identifying the countries.

Similar restrictions have been announced by many other African countries. Last week, Kenya suspended direct flights from Italy to its coastal resort areas, popular among Italian tourists. Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous island region of Tanzania, has imposed a temporary ban on all flights from Italy.

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