Winning the battle?

By | Category: Travel destinations

Today in New Zealand, coronavirus restrictions have been partially removed.

Okarito lagoon in New Zealand’s South Island. It maybe ne of the first places that open up to domestic tourism.

Why?

Because the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern has claimed that New Zealand has no widespread community transmission and going so far as to say, “we have won that battle.”

Consequently, the government has removed some restrictions so some businesses involving about 400,000 people can reopen if the work can’t be done from home, but can be carried out safely and doesn’t involve contact with the public.

Early childhood centres and schools opening on a restricted basis. And food retailers offering contactless takeaways and delivery can re-open. Click-and-collect operations can restart provided that retailers don’t have to interact with their customers.

But whilst this is a beginning for New Zealand there is no word on allowing people to move around yet. Tourism is still not on option and non-New Zealand tourism is certainly not an option.

This week, Australia, France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland all have slightly easier lockdown measures following on ones already announced by some of these countries along with Austria and Hungary.

Others such as Belgium, Greece, Nigeria, India and South Africa are expected to start removing some restriction soon

No country is talking about international tourism. Few are talking about widespread domestic tourism either. Vietnam is an exception with the largely domestic airline, Vietjet increasing the number of domestic flights it has been operating.

Many countries are looking at northern Japan where, on Hokkaido, the lockdown was lifted too soon and a second more rampant outbreak occurred.

Getting the timing right seems crucial.

No country I have looked at has any plans on opening its borders soon. Even Thailand which has a huge number of Chinese tourists is wary of re-opening its borders to Chinese holidaymakers just yet.

For the time being, people around the world are going to have to settle on tourism near to where they live. Then might come domestic tourism in another month or so.

As for international tourism? Nobody that I have talked to is looking any closer than next winter.

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