Poles seek leisure in countries that are still open despite COVID risks

TVN24 News in English, Fakty TVN, Reuters

In a world put to a hold due to the pandemic there are still places open for tourists. More and more Poles choose to travel to those countries and ignore the fact adhering to coronavirus restrictions there are rather low. One of the most glaring examples is Tanzania, along with the tropical island of Zanzibar. Since May, 2020, the country has not been reporting infection rates, while its president John Magufuli likened COVID-19 to the flu and reassured the disease could be tackled through prayer. John Magufuli died on Wednesday, March 17. Officially - due to heart complications. Many speculate, however, that coronavirus might have been the real cause of death.

Poles are keen to spend the upcoming Easter in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Zanzibar. Flights are nearly fully booked.

"Tour operators and charter airlines which offer such destinations say it straight: Poles have pounced on the option to spend the Easter in tropics" - said Paweł Kunz from fly4free.pl.

It's still possible to fly to those countries. There's no mandatory quarantine, no duty to provide negative coronavirus tests. Borders are open to anyone.

"Zanzibar, Mexico and the Dominican Republic enjoy the unflagging popularity among Polish tourists. More and more people consider Costa Rica. All of the destinations guaranteeing lack of restrictions" - Mr Kunz added.

In recent months, Zanzibar - island belonging to Tanzania - has been a real hit among Polish tourists. Not many restrictions are in place - wearing face masks is mandatory only in public spaces, but hardly anyone ever does. Keeping your hands disinfected and social distancing are recommended.

The epidemiological situation is unknown. The country does not inform about infection cases, deaths or performed tests.

According to pulmonologist Dr Tomasz Karauda, mutations of the coronavirus are likely to appear in such countries. "We're simply posing a threat to those people (local residents)" - he said.

"Bulldozer" dies

Tanzanian President John Magufuli, a brash populist who earned the nickname "Bulldozer" for muscling through policies and who drew criticism for his intolerance of dissent, downplayed the threat of COVID-19 in Tanzania and scoffed at global panic.

He urged Tanzanians to put faith in prayer and homespun remedies such as steam inhalation rather than vaccines, which he said were dangerous and part of a Western conspiracy.

"Vaccines are not good. If they were, then the white man would have brought vaccines for HIV/AIDS," he said earlier this year.

To the frustration of experts, Tanzania stopped reporting coronavirus data in May last year when it had 509 cases and 21 deaths, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data.

"Dear Tanzanians, it is sad to announce that today 17 March 2021 around 6 p.m. we lost our brave leader, President John Magufuli who died from heart disease at Mzena hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was getting treatment," the country's vice president Samia Suluhu Hassan informed at the time. On Friday, March 19, she was officially appointed as Magufuli's successor.

Shortly before the president's death was announced, Tundu Lissu, Magufuli's main rival in the October election when the president won a second five-year term, had suggested Tanzania's leader had been flown to Kenya for treatment for COVID-19 and then moved to India in a coma.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Fakty TVN, Reuters

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Shutterstock

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