Tourism

“Impossible”: WHO warns against countries keeping borders shut for “foreseeable future”

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

The World Health Organisation has warned it will be impossible for countries to keep their borders shut in the fight against COVID-19.

This comes just days after Prime Minister Scott Morrison told A Current Affair that travelling beyond Australia’s borders was not “foreseeable”.

WHO emergencies program head Dr Michael Ryan (pictured above) told a COVID-19 briefing on Monday that travel restrictions alone are “not effective in dealing with the movement of disease” in the same way that hand washing or mask-wearing alone would not be effective.

“If we’ve worked very hard in a given country and we’ve suppressed infection to a very low level and we’ve achieved that over three or four months of very hard work what is the extra risk now of opening borders and increasing mobility and how do you manage that risk?” Ryan said.

“Again, it comes back to this idea that it is going to be almost impossible for individual countries to keep their borders shut for the foreseeable future.

“Economies have to open up, people have to work, trade has to resume.”

Ryan said there is no one-size-fits-all approach for reopening borders. For a small island nation with no COVID-19 cases, he said opening borders would be a “disaster”; however, for a country with a large number of infections, shutting borders “may or may not make any difference” to the spread of the disease.

“So, the consequence and the risk and the threat in a sense that a disease represents is not just the risk of the disease moving; it’s the impact that that disease would have when it arrives and we have to look at both of those factors to come to conclusions on that,” he said.

The World Health Organisation’s director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said strict adherence to health measures is the only way to manage the virus.

“Keep your distance from others, clean your hands, avoid crowded and enclosed areas and wear a mask where recommended,” he said.

“Where these measures are followed cases go down. Where they’re not cases go up.

“Countries and communities that have followed this advice carefully and consistently have done well, either in preventing large-scale outbreaks like Cambodia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Vietnam and islands in the Pacific and Caribbean, or in bringing large outbreaks under control like Canada, China, Germany and the Republic of Korea.”


Featured image source: YouTube/WHO

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Tourism

The Travel Industry Hub creates online community

Are you sick of attending webinars where everyone leaves straight after they end, leaving no chance to network and chat? Well, TTIH is doing something about it.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Brisbane Airport achieves global COVID-safe accreditation

While the health and safety protocols at Brisbane’s quarantine hotels are being questioned, at least the airport’s got it together.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Nail-biting images emerge of youths taking selfies on Sydney hotel ledge

Bloody kids these days and their death-defying selfies. Back in our day, the cameras were so big that we’d be lucky to get one up a staircase, let alone onto the ledge of a building.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

South Australia changes border restrictions for travellers from NSW

by Huntley Mitchell

Finding it hard to follow of all the constantly-changing domestic border restrictions? Travel Weekly has done some of the deciphering for you here.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean extends cruise suspension, announces US$40m funding pool for agents

Despite what the headline suggests, the cruise group isn’t offering agents to take a dip in a literal pool of cash, much to our disappointment.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

The Travel Corporation’s Aussie CEO to depart as part of major exec changes

Here’s some very big news right here for your Friday, with TTC’s Fiona Dalton set to fly the coop after just three months in the top role.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Indonesian socialite books out entire flight to Bali to avoid COVID-19

The grandson of a pharmaceutical tycoon reckons booking out an entire commercial flight is cheaper than chartering a private jet.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Opening date revealed for W Melbourne

Have you been waiting with bated breath for Marriott to reveal the opening date for its new Melbourne property? Well, you can now rid yourself of all that anxiety.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

CTM boss in legal stoush with Brisbane City Council over $20 million property plan

Jamie Pherous has become entangled in a legal battle with the council over a swimming pool he wants to build at his new property on Brisbane River.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Get in quick! Trafalgar launches ‘Break Out & Break Free’ sale

It appears 2021 is the year of the sale, with Trafalgar joining the already long list of travel brands spruiking their discounted wares.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Unions take Qantas to High Court over JobKeeper “wage theft”

by Ali Coulton

Having lost on appeal in the Federal Court late last year, the unions are now taking their JobKeeper fight against Qantas to the High Court.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival to ditch 19 ships, as company posts $2.8 billion quarterly loss

Carnival Corporation has added another ship to the pile of vessels that it will offload in order to stay afloat beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Share

CommentComments