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TTC Special: Omicron: Will the quarantines return?

Photo: Pixabay.

By Frank Martin

The world is carefully analyzing the long-term consequences of Omicron.

That’s because the impetuous variant of SARS-CoV-2 could delay the advance of the vaccine-driven global reopening for longer than anticipated.

In fact, quarantines have already returned to some countries.

A latent concern is whether the paralysis of entire nations will extend through 2022 with more devastating effects on national and global economies.

The largest global entities linked to tourism defend openings as fundamental although governed by adequate protection measures applied without stopping the economies.

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) reacted to the dilemma with a regional call-in order to respect current protocols against Covid-19 adjusted to normal travelers’ movement and vaccination programs to dispel “uncertainty” surrounding the situation.

CHTA stressed prevention as important, but applied effectively, damaging as little as possible the global recovery.

A further increase in travel bans and restrictions leading to cancellations plus a decline process in hotel and accommodation booking levels would be a powerful new blow to the already beleaguered industry.

“Closing the Caribbean borders and imposing transit barriers could have serious consequences for the region,” warned Jamaican hotelier Nicola Madden-Greig, appointed new president of the Association last October.

Madden-Greig opined that new bans would limit global health efforts that lead countries and tourist destinations to share epidemiological data and ways to combat the pandemic.

CHTA supported the opposition by the World Health Organization (WHO) to blanket travel bans that would not prevent international spread.

Omicron also led the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to warn that before this new threat emerged, tourism was recovering faster in the Caribbean than in any other region in the world.

Many governments destinations tourism depending that have suffered severe impacts from the long pandemic agree to seek answers that allow them to move forward.

So far, the five variants that have emerged from the SARS-COV-2 virus have shown that they can be defeated.

These have spread throughout Americas including Omicron which is now in three continental countries according to an epidemiological update from Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Delta, the most frequent of the coronavirus modifications, was first reported in July 2020 and detected in 181 countries, including 54 in the Americas.

Omicron was already designated as a “Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization” after being reported in at least 25 countries around the world.

Specialized studies further note that “it is not clear whether infection with this strain causes more severe disease or not compared to infections with other variants.”

“PAHO / WHO recommended that Member States continue efforts to increase vaccination coverage against COVID-19 and improve adherence to public health measures that reduce transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

Trusty available vaccines increase contains the disease spreading and make it less serious and deadly.

Experts believe that a clever tourist world with caution reacts against Omicron could be a winner one against a new epidemy.

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