Holidaymakers express concerns over MoD’s flights regulatory measures

Sep 1, 2020, 11:34 AM | Article By: Yunus S. Saliu

As the tourism session set to resume in The Gambia in earnest, some intended holidaymakers especially repeater tourists to the destination have expressed their concerns over the Ministry of Defence’s new regulatory measures for all flights destined to fly to destination Gambia.

The Ministry of Defence’s new regulatory measures for ‘all flights destined to The Gambia’ dated 4th August and dispatched to relevant stakeholders, in part of their efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country, states six measures to be followed by ‘all flight operators in The Gambia especially SN Brussels.’

Among the conditions for the approval of landing include: Any passenger destined for The Gambia must be in possession of certificate indicating that he/she took a Covid-19 test within 72 hours prior to boarding with the result being negative. The passenger manifests must be sent to Banjul before takeoff. Upon arrival, all disembarking passengers shall be subjected to immediate testing and the passengers shall pay for the cost of testing. And all those who test positive shall be quarantined and those who test negative shall be discharged and monitored if necessary.

Reacting to the development, Jo Brooks wants more clarification over these measures.

Shell Sharon’s concern is about cost and wants the concerned authorities to make it cheaper. “I’ve just been looking at the cost for test and certificate, this is the place I had my yellow fever vaccine. Our doctors recommended this place to me it’s expensive - the test and certificate. I think they should make it cheaper flight could be cancelled at short notice not just Gambia but any place you need a certificate and test.”

She added that “I certainly don’t want to holiday in quarantine,” while Paula Jenkins described it as “awful situation.”

However, Lorraine Armitage advised the intended tourists to look after themselves by using face “masks, anti bacteria, hand washing etc., we’ll be fine,” she assured.

Despite the regulatory measures, Cathy Kirby’s worry is about the conditions of the hospitals in the destinations. She said she has been inside the general hospitals and described it to be “horrendous.” But in spite of her description of the general hospital in the country, Lorraine confessed that one of the private hospitals in the country “Afrimed saved my husband’s life.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, in a dispatched letter to partners has assured them of the Ministry’s support in reaching the goals for the upcoming tourism winter season to begin soon.

Due to challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry disclosed that government of “The Gambia has instituted stringent protocols and measures that must be adhered to by the entire leisure and hospitality industry in general. And The Gambia, depending on advice from the Ministry of Health is ready to open and operate the forthcoming season as a very safe destination for the clients.”