You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

Omicron: Travellers on edge as countries tighten rules, say travel agents

Southern Africa, where Omicron was discovered, accounts for only a tiny portion of the world's international travel but Israel and Japan have announced border closures to all foreign travellers

Topics
Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Travel

Reuters 

A man stands in front of a monitor showing flight schedules at an arrival hall of Haneda airports international terminal, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Tokyo (Photo: Reuters)
A man stands in front of a monitor showing flight schedules at an arrival hall of Haneda airports international terminal, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Tokyo (Photo: Reuters)

Some would-be travellers are considering cancelling or delaying trip plans in response to fresh curbs prompted by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, agents said on Monday, threatening an already fragile recovery for the global tourism industry.

Southern Africa, where Omicron was discovered, accounts for only a tiny portion of the world's but Israel and Japan have announced border closures to all foreign travellers and Britain and Australia have tightened rules for all arrivals in response to the new variant.

Some Australian travellers booked through Flight Centre Group Ltd have cancelled or delayed trips amid new requirements for arrivals to isolate at home or a hotel for 72 hours while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, a spokesperson for the travel agency said.

"We're not being rushed off our feet," he said of the number of changes to trips. "It is still very early days and people are generally prepared to wait and see what eventuates." Australia's border remains closed to tourists from all countries except New Zealand and Singapore.

Jeremiah Wong, senior marketing communications manager at tour agency Chan Brothers Travel in Singapore, said some concerned customers had called to enquire about options for upcoming Australia trips due to the new isolation requirement.

"At this moment, the observation is that people are still keen to carry on with their travel plans, because they have been planning for this for a long time," he said. "We have not received any calls of concern for Europe tours." Singapore Airlines Ltd said it had converted some of its passenger flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town to cargo-only after Singapore put in place restrictions on travellers who had been to southern Africa.

Singapore had only recently begun a cautious reopening to foreign travel and the country on Sunday deferred plans to open its borders to vaccinated travellers from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia because those countries are transit hubs for African travel.

Singapore's Skyline Travel, which sells tour packages to Europe and South Korea, is "worried" about the situation though it has not yet seen cancellations, a spokesperson said.

"We have been making it compulsory for our clients to purchase travel insurance due to the fluidity of the situation," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, November 29 2021. 14:22 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.