Zanzibar bars Italian tourists over coronavirus outbreak

Saturday March 07 2020
TZ virus

Arriving foreign passengers are directed to a screening point for the deadly coronavirus, by an official from the Tanzania Health Department, upon arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) in north Tanzania on February 28, 2020. PHOTO | FILBERT RWEYEMAMU | AFP


Dar es Salaam,

Health authorities in Tanzania's Zanzibar Island have barred Italian tourists from visiting the islands following the outbreak of Covid-19 in Italy.

Hamad Rashid, Zanzibar's Minister for Health, said in a statement on Friday evening that the move was aimed at controlling the outbreak of the deadly virus.

Mr Rashid urged residents in Zanzibar to take precautionary measures, including stopping travelling to countries that have been affected by the virus.


The official warned people spreading rumours about the outbreak, saying there is no case in Zanzibar.


He noted, however, that people should continue taking precautionary measures.

Mr Rashid said the government had reinforced screening at Zanzibar's ports of entry, including ports and airports.


According to latest update by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease have been reported globally.

Zanzibar is a paradise for tourists with sandy beaches and clear Indian Ocean water, as well as coral and limestone scarps which allow for significant amounts of diving and snorkelling.

Tourist arrivals in Zanzibar increased by 3.4 per cent from the 520,809 visitors recorded in 2018 to 538,264 in 2019.