Bah confirms amendment protocol on Covid-19 as industry looks to recovery

Sep 8, 2020, 12:12 PM

Countries around the globe, especially tourism destinations are easing travel restrictions imposed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic a few months ago. Destination Gambia has equally amended its mandatory guidelines and regulations for the opening of the tourism industry in The Gambia as confirmed by the minister of Tourism and Culture.

According to Hamat N.K. Bah, “all passengers arriving in The Gambia, it doesn’t matter if you are tourists or Gambians/visitors, you will not be subjected to quarantine while passengers in possession of a negative Covid-19 test certificate of not more than 72 hours will not be tested in The Gambia.”

Since the Banjul International Airport will resume full operation in October 2020, which coincides with winter tourism season in the destination, Minister Bah advised that everyone using the country’s international airport must follow the laid down guidelines for all passengers “either as arriving or departing passengers.”

On different complaints and allegations emanating from the users of the airport be they Gambians and non-Gambians, tourists and tour operators among others, Mr. Bah, however, assured of difference from this season onwards.

According to him, “the issue of the airport is something that preoccupies the minds of many Gambians and non-Gambians considering what they are going through at the airport. The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) will have a joint committee whereby all relevant stakeholders converge to see how best the issues of the airport can be solved.”

He added that complaints about the ‘dark room’ as passengers described it among other issues when it comes to good service delivery will be solved. “Because we (government) cannot invest so much money at the airport which is one of the best airports in the sub region” and look at people messing it up.

The airport, he said “is in preparation for the OIC, we want it to remain best, not only the equipment and structures, but also in terms of good service among others. So there is a joint committee working to look at all those complaints.”

As the government wants the issue to be solved as quickly as possible, he said the GCAA is standing firm to make sure that all the issues are addressed soon by the joint committee.

Minister Bah disclosed that soon flights will start to land because the airport will be opened soon. “We are following the normal protocol of the health committee because talking about the winter tourism season, obviously, you have to open your international borders too because tourists don't come only by air but also by land and sea. All these are things to be worked out and as soon as possible it will be communicated to the general public.”

He said the expected number of tourists to the country “with this Covid-19 still on, you cannot predict how many tourists coming to the country. Because some tourists too have problems with the pandemic in their own countries as it surges in other countries with the second waves.”

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