No cruise ship cheer for Cape Town tourism amid Omicron alarm

The Europa passenger liner was originally meant to stay in Cape Town until December 2 before departing.

2021-11-30 05:28:00 PM

The Europa passenger liner was originally meant to stay in Cape Town until December 2 before departing.

The Europa passenger liner was originally meant to stay in Cape Town until December 2 before departing.

Recent travel restrictions imposed by the European Union, the UK and US due to Omicron, designated a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation, have seen the region’s three biggest markets cut off.Owned by German-based travel company TUI Group, the ship carrying hundreds of passengers and crew was sailing from Luderitz in Namibia to Cape Town when news of Omicron broke and raised the possibility it could be rerouted.

“Some passengers will disembark to fly home while others will stay on board for the return journey,” said Wrenelle Stander, CEO of Wesgro, the trade and investment agency for the Western Cape.“Passengers heading to the airport will have to do a Covid-19 test before leaving,” she told Reuters without providing details of passenger numbers or nationalities.

It was expected the ship’s passengers would have explored tourist attractions such as Table Mountain or apartheid-era prison Robben Island, where former president Nelson Mandela was incarcerated. The ship was originally meant to stay in port until December 2 before departing. headtopics.com

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“This has been a hammer blow to our major job-creating sector in the province precisely when we needed a recovery to claw back jobs lost over the past 19 months,” said Western Cape premier Alan Winde.The summer season is vital for Cape Town, which lost an estimated 75,000 tourism jobs during the pandemic, officials said. 

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