Cape Verde cuts flights from virus-hit countries
Cape Verde, a tropical Atlantic archipelago heavily dependent on tourism, has banned flights from countries affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus, the authorities announced on Tuesday.
The former Portuguese colony has not recorded any cases of the virus, although it moved swiftly, on February 27, to block flights from Italy as the disease began to spread rapidly there.
In order to prevent the entry of coronavirus, we have decided to bar flights from Portugal and all affected European countries, as well as Brazil, the United States, Senegal and NigeriaUlisses Correia e Silva
“In order to prevent the entry of coronavirus, we have decided to bar flights from Portugal and all affected European countries, as well as Brazil, the United States, Senegal and Nigeria,” Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva said in an announcement to religious and political leaders and NGOs.
The measure, due to take effect on Wednesday and scheduled to last at least three weeks, will not apply to flights carrying cargo or medical equipment or to planes taking stranded tourists back home or picking them up for medical treatment abroad.
Cruise ships and yachts will also be banned from docking, and passengers aboard trawlers and freighters will not be allowed to step ashore.
A fifth of the economy of Cape Verde, a nine-island group located off the coast of Senegal, is dependent on tourism.
The US rating agency Standard & Poor’s on Tuesday placed the country, along with tourism hotspots in the Caribbean, among the locations that will be most heavily affected by travel restrictions triggered by the pandemic. — AFP