Tunis-Carthage airport, which welcomed five million passengers last year, has resumed its commercial activities since Saturday. During the confinement period, only flights of repatriation has been operated by the national airline, Tunisair, a near-hundred. The site has been put to the standards coronavirus : marking a distance to the ground, Plexiglas, gel... The country wants to save what can be of the tourist season, which was due to start. In a Tunisia that "the economy requires a bailout," according to Elyes Fakhfakh, president of the government, the tourism accounts for 14 % of GDP. More than a pillar, an arch. The borders with the european Union are to open again. The first aircraft landed this weekend. Marseille, Paris-Charles-De-Gaulle airport, Geneva... on Tuesday, a dozen flights were scheduled. Families were reunited after several months of physical absence.
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"Too many restrictions"
Mouna Ben Halima, president and CEO of the hotel La Badira, five-star hotel in Hammamet, and a member of the executive bureau of the tunisian Federation of hotels (FTH), only returns not behind feigned hopes : its establishment, usual, complete, displays with local clients, as "50 per cent occupancy on Saturday, 20 % the other days of the week," what makes him say that " it does not feed its man." For the rest, "there are very few return flights on scheduled and there are too many conditions that are legally binding for countries classified orange, the countries that represent the main markets, where Belgium, Russia and Algeria," the larger markets are classified red -". A test Covid-19, charged 209 dinars (60 €), is required, one of the recommendations listed in the health protocol developed by the authorities (ministry of Health, ministry of Tourism) and industry professionals (FTH). Save what may yet be ? Algeria will be absent this year because of epidemic continue to increase.
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Algeria closed "until God frees us from the scourge"
If Tunisia has recorded less than one thousand two hundred cases, and fifty deaths for a population of almost twelve million inhabitants, the neighbouring algerian exceeds thirteen thousand five hundred cases and nine hundred deaths to forty-two million inhabitants. The pandemic was, for the time, totally controlled by Tunis when Algiers was facing a situation of exponential, unprecedented since the onset of the Covid-19 in February : nearly three hundred additional cases each day, nine deaths, against a hundred of cases daily about a month ago. Some hospital services are saturated in Oran, Blida, in particular, causing serious concerns.
the president of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, said the borders would remain closed " until God frees us from the scourge ". For the tourism industry of tunisia, it is a big blow especially as the Libyans, in the throes of an internationalisation of the civil war, will not be able to be at the appointment. Other important markets are also prey to health-related situations of ill-natured : Russia, which accounted for more than 800 000 visitors in 2019.
The 2.9 million Algerians present in 2019, 1.9 million of Libyans, most of the 2.8 million Europeans : the total of the absent risk of being a murderer for a sector that was recovering from multiple crises (the revolution of 2011, the attacks of 2015, the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook). Not to mention the diaspora, 1.4 million, that may not have had needed to go back on vacation.
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