By Natalia Román and Javier Martín
Tunisia, Jun 27 (efe-epa).- Tunisia partially reopened its borders on Saturday with a color-coded system to show which countries may enter without restrictions as the government attempts to revitalize tourism, a key sector for the country’s flailing economy.
Tunisia received the first passengers from France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland on Saturday, with air travel at 30 percent capacity and the hope that all flight connections will be operational by 11 July.
Tunisia has adopted health and safety measures following World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines amid warnings the pandemic is still spreading.
Hoteliers have criticized the restrictions amid concerns the sector cannot rebound this summer.
“Tunisia has obtained the certificate of safe tourism from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WCTT),” Tourism Minister Mohamad Ali Toumi said Friday night.
“Our tourism is different from other countries, it is inclusive and important for the country’s economy. It also requires taking risks very seriously, and we have taken measures to that end,” he said on local radio.
The color-coded system has been designed by the National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases and will be updated weekly in accordance with the latest epidemiological statistics.
Tourists with a low risk of infection are classified green and include people traveling from Italy, Germany and China. The visitors will not be subject to any preventive measures and will be able to move freely in the country.
The second group of countries with medium prevalence of the virus are classified orange and include Spain, France, Pakistan and Nepal.