21-06-2021 by redazione
A "covid free" corridor between Italy and the Kenyan coast, with a secure reception system that covers all stages of the journey and the tourists' stay.
This is the idea, to be developed and put into practice by next October, to revive Italian and European tourism in the African country's holiday destinations.
The idea was conceived by entrepreneur Pasquale Tiritò, owner of three resorts in Watamu's Jacaranda Bay, and has been transformed into a proposal to the institutions of the two countries, finding support from other important players in the sector in Malindi and Watamu such as Roberto Lenzi and Roberto Marini and from tour operators and agencies in Italy.
"The process of recovery of international tourism after the pandemic has begun," Tiritò told Malindikenya.net, "Kenya has already done a lot in terms of rules for the country and specific protocols for the tourism industry, but the competition for recovery will be won with a loosening of border and travel restrictions combined with a secure Covid Free system.
The 'covid free corridor' envisioned by Tiritò starting next October aims to accelerate this process, making the recovery faster and more tailored to the needs of the industry that has suffered most economically from the pandemic restrictions.
"Italy is one of the biggest 'supplier' markets of tourists to Kenya," Tiritò explains. "The pandemic is now expressing low numbers in terms of contagions and positivity rates (0.7/0.8%). The vaccination campaign continues at one of the highest rates in Europe, compared to the population, and experts predict that herd immunity will be achieved by the end of September. Despite the opening to tourism made by Kenya in August 2020, the current difficulties for a major resumption of tourism from Italy (which for the most part consists of stays of one or two weeks) are represented by two factors: for the Italian government, the placement of Kenya in band E, with a ban on tourism, quarantine and mandatory testing upon return, until July 31. For the Kenyan government, the obligation of a negative molecular test carried out 96 hours before arrival and another negative test before leaving the country.
Here is what this 'safe system' would consist of
direct flights from Italy to Mombasa with passengers holding a European Green Pass (i.e. either vaccinated, or cured of covid, or with a negative test). Well before the Green Pass, Covid Free flights had already been operated between Italy and the USA.
sanitation of the aircraft as required by international regulations
arrival and transfer according to the protocols already in force in Kenya, also guaranteeing the vaccination of personnel who come into contact with tourists (drivers, guides, etc.)
stay in facilities where, in addition to the negative test, the staff has been vaccinated
excursions and safaris with vaccinated personnel
any rapid test before leaving the country, transfer and return flight in the same way as the outward journey.
"The European Green Pass was created to be used within the EU, but each country enjoys discretion - explains the Roman entrepreneur - For example, Italy, if not all of Europe, has already assumed that the Green Pass will soon be able to cancel the restrictions provided for non-European countries such as the USA, Canada, Japan and Korea. Italy and Kenya could mutually recognise this 'corridor' between the two countries. The vaccine (without which one could not have a Green Pass) does not guarantee 100% that the person is not a vehicle of contagion. There is a percentage of risk (around 5%) that the traveller will be positive, so a quick test could be carried out at the airport before departure. New rapid antigenic tests of high reliability have been developed in recent months. It would be necessary, at least in this context of covid free flights, for Kenya to recognise rapid tests.
The covid free holiday is an element of reassurance for the end customer who turns to the tourism industry, because the restart is not only linked to more or less restrictive laws, but also and above all to the sentiment of the customer/tourist. The idea could be applied both before the removal of the ban on tourist travel and after its removal to give a positive message to the market. I hope that this issue, which involves the industries of both countries, can be implemented with the contribution of everyone, businesspeople and government authorities alike".
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