In Sierra Leone, like it is true in the rest of the world, tourism is the most hurt industry when it comes to fighting the global Coronavirus epidemic.
There is no place on earth so fragile as the African continent. Africa doesn’t have the resources, the infrastructure to fight an epidemic of the scale of COVID-19. The Hon. Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs for the West African Country Sierra Leone Dr. Menunatu B. Pratt worked hard to build this industry and know this. Four days ago the country refused the admission of four Japanese tourists to the country because of the fear of COVID-19.
Sierra Leone is faced with a possible and yet unconfirmed case of a first possible virus case in Freetown, the capital of the country.
Sierra Leone so far was able to keep COVID-19 out of their country. In the absence of an outbreak, the ministry notified operators of tourist establishments, including beach bars, night clubs, casinos and all entertainment spots to seize operation with immediate effect until further notice. Restaurants are however permitted to operate from 7 am to 7 pm. Beach activities relating to outings fiestas festival and other forms of social gathering on beaches are also prohibited.
All tourism establishments are further urged to put in place the enhance preparedness measures against the coronavirus.
Minister Pratt added: “The measures are taken to ensure that Sierra Leone remains safe.”
The minister emphasized to her tourism stakeholders to observe social distancing, to disinfect hotels, sit outdoors instead of indoors, wash hands and check everyone’s temperature.
The minister is well connected in the world of tourism safety and resilience.
Cuthbert Ncube, chairman of the African Tourism applauded the immediate action the Hon. Minister Pratt took to safeguard the travel and tourism in her country. Sierra Leone is a founding member of the African Tourism Board. Minister Pratt has provided leadership and inside since the formation of ATB and is widely regarded as an influential member of the global tourism world. We know Sierra Leone invested heavily in the travel and tourism industry and has big plans in the future.
African Tourism Board has been going all out against COVID-19 and urged countries not to put short term profit over a long term loss. The organization has been urging countries to close up tourism, close borders and stay put.