Why did the German government remove England and India from the list of virus variant areas, but not South Africa and Namibia? By raising this question, the association Arbeitsgemeinschaft südliches und östliches Afrika (ASA) accused the government of discriminating travel destinations. They claim that the delta variant of the corona virus, which according to the government’s decision no longer represents an increased risk for Germany, also dominates in southern Africa.
“I cannot explain to any customer why it is suddenly possible to travel to India and Great Britain, but not to Namibia or South Africa”, the travel industry portal fvw quoted ASA board member and managing director of the tour operator Diamir Erlebnisreisen, Jörg Ehrlich (full report, in German only: “Africa experts accuse the Foreign Office of discrimination” / “Afrika-Experten werfen Auswärtigem Amt Ungleichbehandlung vor”).
The fact that the assessment of the corona situation for European countries is not carried out nationwide, but broken down according to domestic regions, has been a disadvantage for non-European travel destinations since last year. Namibia is classified according to the high infection rates in its cities, although the tourists are travelling in low populated areas and spend the night in accommodations that have been implemented international hygiene concepts for more than a year.
Developing countries are hardest hit by the global slump in tourism as a result of travel restrictions, as the UN organizations UNCTAD and UNWTO announced last week: “Developing countries have borne the biggest brunt of the pandemic’s impact on tourism. They suffered the largest reductions in tourist arrivals in 2020, estimated at between 60% and 80%.” (Full report: “Global economy could lose over $4 trillion due to COVID-19 impact on tourism”).
Germany yesterday sent a large transport plane of the Bundeswehr with urgently needed medical supplies to Namibia. The German embassy invited the media to the official handover of the aid supplies at the international airport for today. Several ministers of the Namibian government should also take part.