Mandatory COVID-19 quarantine hurts the economy
Critics and the tourism sector players have bemoaned the quarantine announced by the government of Zimbabwe during the omicron variant outbreak earlier.
This comes as authorities at ports of entry have not enforced the “mandatory” quarantine.
Archbold Zhuwawo, a returning resident who flew in last Friday said, “The quarantine is not being enforced whatsoever. All they asked for was my covid19 tests and they let us into the country”
In a statement released by the ministry of Health and Childcare on the 3rd of December said, “those found to be negative will be quarantined at their own cost for 10 days. Those in Quarantine will be retested after 5 days.”
While the decision not to enforce this may not be ascertained, businesspeople in the tourism sector say this significantly affected the number of visitors the country was expected to receive during this festive season.
A tourism expert who spoke on condition of anonymity said the effects are far-reaching, “we are talking cancelled flights, postponed bookings or even cancellations, domestic tourism has gained momentum and the whole tourism sector has been finding its feet after the initial lockdown, this reverses all those strides made towards a return to normalcy”
Embassies and travel platforms online still maintain the official announcement that those visiting will be subjected to quarantine before they can be allowed into the country.
Economists say the announcement that is not being enforced sabotages the country’s revenue streams and discourages the inflow of the much-needed foreign currency.
Critics warn that new restrictive measures may soon be announced before the Christmas holiday to ensure the general public is safe. Often Christmas is complemented by a lot of travel as people look to spend time with their loved ones.