UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has slammed travel bans targeting specific countries and regions imposed over the new Covid-19 variant as "unfair" and "ineffective." He wrote about this on his Twitter page.
"With a virus that is truly borderless, travel restrictions that isolate any one country or region are not only deeply unfair and punitive – they are ineffective," Guterres wrote.
Dozens of countries imposed restrictions on travel from southern African states after the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was first reported in the region last week.
Guterres said countries that had reported the emergence of the new strain should not "be collectively punished for identifying and sharing crucial science and health information with the world."
He reiterated an appeal to governments to implement augmented testing measures for travelers, "together with other appropriate and truly effective measures."
"This is the only way to reduce the risk of transmission while allowing for travel and economic engagement."
Earlier, the United Nations predicted that international tourism arrivals would likely not rebound to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2023. This was stated by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.
“The UNWTO Panel of Experts predicts a very positive rebound driven by high deferred travel demand in the second and third quarters of 2022. At the moment, we are seeing a slight rebound in the regions of Southern Europe, Central America and the Caribbean," Zurab Pololikashvili said.