Covid new variant poses global travel scare

Published on : Tuesday, December 7, 2021

On Jeju Island in South Korea, the markets are experiencing bad times. In Bangkok, bored hawkers are waiting for customers whose numbers have gone down considerably. In Bali, tour guides arewithout a job. In Paris and Rome, the long lines of people with selfie sticks and sun hats seem a distant memory.


This was supposed to be the year with travel bouncing back. In Europe and Asia, many countries reopened their airports and welcomed tourists. But now they are confronting a new reality: variants like Omicron are bringing global scare, leading governments to shut borders again, and their biggest spenders — the Chinese tourists — aren’t coming back any time soon.


As part of its effort to maintain a zero-Covid approach, China has said that international flights would be kept at 2.2 percent of pre-Covid levels during the winter. Since August, China has almost fully stopped issuing new passports, and it has madeobligatory14-day quarantine for all arrivals. Returning to China also requires loads of paperwork and multiple Covid-19 tests.

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