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Travel Bans Can’t Be Indefinite Says World Health Organization

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Bans on international travel cannot stay in place indefinitely, and countries are going to have to do more to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus within their borders, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

Facemasks on beach

A surge of infections has prompted countries to reimpose some travel restrictions in recent days, with Britain throwing the reopening of Europe’s tourism industry into disarray by ordering a quarantine on travellers returning from Spain.

traveler going down elevator with suitcase

Only with strict adherence to health measures, from wearing masks to avoiding crowds, would the world manage to beat the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at a virtual news briefing in Geneva.

Tourists wearing masks walking street in france

“Where these measures are followed, cases go down. Where they are not, cases go up,” he said, praising Canada, China, Germany and South Korea for controlling outbreaks.

WHO emergencies programme head Mike Ryan said it was impossible for countries to keep borders shut for the foreseeable future.

China traveler wearing mask

“…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,” he said.

“What is clear is pressure on the virus pushes the numbers down. Release that pressure and cases creep back up.”

air canada check in counter

Ryan said Spain’s current situation was nowhere near as bad as it had been at the pandemic’s peak there, and he expected clusters to be brought under control, though it would take days or weeks to discern the disease’s future pattern.

“The more we understand the disease, the more we have a microscope on the virus, the more precise we can be in surgically removing it from our communities,” he added.

masks on plane

Source- Reuters

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Jessica B.

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

It's true that borders can't stay shut for ever but if they are all opened fully...you have the problem of crowds at places like airports and the numbers creep up again! It's still going to be a very slow process to reopen.

Joseph Reeves

Monday 27th of July 2020

That's the first sensible thing I've heard in awhile.