"Omicron" won't impact Tanzania travel
What impact may the novel “Omicron” coronavirus mutation have on Tanzania travel?
As of today, there are no restrictions regarding Tanzania travel for the citizens of the USA, Canada, EU or most of the other countries. The latest World Health Organization (WHO) announcements and expert opinions suggest that it is unlikely that there will be any large-scale rollback of the international travel restrictions in the future.
On November 26, 2021, the WHO announced that the new coronavirus variant detected in South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong and several other countries is “of concern” and labelled it “Omicron”. Several countries announced travel restrictions to the Horn of Africa, creating uncertainty for holiday-goers and business travellers alike.
Those planning to climb Mt Kilimanjaro or visit Tanzania national parks frequently ask us whether our tours will still run. They will, and here is why:
Tanzania is not among the countries where Omicron was detected
This variant of Coronavirus was found in the “Horn of Africa” countries - South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini. Tanzania is in East Africa, and it is separated by the Horn of Africa by thousands of miles. Tanzania is separated from these Horn of Africa countries by not one, but two countries that meet its southern border; Mozambique and Zambia. Interstate travel between Tanzania and these countries is very low these days, and so far it is not likely that the mutation will reach this nation.
So far, there are no travel restrictions to Tanzania caused by the Omicron mutation.
Air carriers keep flying to Tanzania
International air companies operating flights to Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam haven’t cancelled any of their flights. Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch (in spite of the ongoing lockdown in the Netherlands) have continued regular air travel to Tanzania. A good indicator is that travelers may continue to purchase airline tickets on their respective websites.
Furthermore, Delta Airlines (one of the largest air carriers in the USA), announced that it will not be cancelling flights to South Africa, the mutation hotspot. The plans to reopen the route to Cape Town still stand for Delta Airlines.
Finally, recently, the European Commission suggested that everyone in possession of a valid European digital immunization certificate should be free to travel without any restrictions whatsoever. We hope that this approach will become the foundation of international travel policy around the world.
According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health epidemiologist “vaccines will most likely protect against Omicron”
According to the New York Times, William Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said that the vaccines will most likely work against Omicron, though further studies are needed to define the scope of efficiency reduction, if any.
We would like to emphasize that this is not the first mutation of the Covid virus discovered so far. Although the Beta-variant misgivings turned out to be largely justified, it did not stop travel to Tanzania. In fact, in the 2020-2021 season, when the Beta variant was rampaging South Africa, Altezza received over 1500 clients from all over the world. To our surprise, the winter climbing season actually surpassed the pre-pandemic figures.
While the scientists continue to conduct trials to determine the threat posed by Omicron, we strongly believe that mass vaccination and our experience with other virus variations are solid proof that there won’t be any large-scale impact on traveling Tanzania, or being able to achieve your dream of climbing Africa’s highest mountain or visiting Tanzania’s incredible parks.
Tanzania introduced strict measures to minimize the COVID-19 threat
Since early 2021, Tanzania has strictly followed the WHO guidance on minimizing the Coronavirus risks. Every individual arriving in the country should have proof of negative PCR test results, mask-wearing is mandatory in public places, hand sanitizing is widespread, etc.
Because tourism is an important part of the national economy, the health officials of Tanzania are strictly enforcing these rules. Now there are even mobile COVID test centers in the national parks, where travellers may get a swab to save time before their departure flight.
Altezza staff is fully vaccinated
To protect our employees and customers, we made the decision to have all members of our team vaccinated. We used Pfizer and Johnson vaccines. Read more about our fully-vaccinated team here.
As of today not a single customer of Altezza Travel has contracted coronavirus while exploring Tanzania with us!