Because travel restrictions are useless

According to the British newspaper, the measures make sense in the early stages of the outbreak

Travel restrictions imposed to limit the spread of Covid-19 variants, as they have in recent weeks to stop Omicron, are the wrong way to tackle the problem. This is an editorial in the weekly reports “The Economist”, such measures make sense in the early stages of an outbreak, when the infection of one of the variants is low and testing and tracking systems are still able to track infection paths. When imported cases account for more than 10 per cent of infections, bans can have a significant impact on the growth of the epidemic “and allow you to” buy time to discover a new variant, equip hospital facilities or start vaccination campaigns.” However, the British newspaper notes that “banning Travel usually remains valid even if the virus or variant is circulating freely in a country, it is largely useless. When France banned non-essential travel from the UK on December 16, hoping to keep the Omicron variant out of the country, it was already recording a daily average of more than 50,000 infections, 10 percent more than its peak during the year. Variable delta wave at the beginning of the year. Any imported infection, at that point, would have made little difference about the ability to spread disease and certainly not “to justify the economic and social disruption caused by the travel ban”.

According to The Economist, one reason travel restrictions don’t tend to have lasting benefits is that most of them are prone to drawbacks. “With very few exceptions, countries allow citizens, residents, their families, essential workers, diplomats, prominent businessmen, or a combination of those, to cross borders. Countries that have succeeded in imposing long-term travel bans, as they have done Australia and New Zealand, they have to do so at great cost not only to their global communications but to their citizens as well. For most of 2021, Australians struggled to return home and had to pay exorbitant amounts for flights and hotels to undergo quarantine procedures to do so,” says the British newspaper, which reports that strict measures are needed, such as those involving the city of Melbourne, which has remained closed. for 262 days in 2021. The best approach, according to The Economist, is for governments to promote more cost-effective policies, and resist the temptation to impose bans only to create an illusion of determination. In this sense, the paper concludes, the UK and US governments have shown a measure greater than “common sense” by removing travel restrictions imposed on South African countries when it became clear that the alternative was widespread in its territory.

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