As of yesterday, an orange (or red) travel advice was issued worldwide, which means the State Department recommends only going on essential trips. But that is no longer the case, the ministry is now evaluating all countries separately again.
150 injuries per 100,000 residents
So some countries have changed the color code. The principle is: a maximum of 150 infections per 14 days per 100,000 population. A spokesman for the ministry said, “In addition, adequate tests must be done, to ensure that the numbers are reliable and whether people have returned with the infection from that country.”
As a result, the color code of ten countries or territories has now been diluted from orange to yellow. Finland, Ireland and Portugal, among others, are part of this. But also Rwanda. Here is the list of countries you are now allowed to travel to:
On social media, a lot of people joke that you can travel to Rwanda, but not to Germany or Belgium, for example. Someone says, “I just booked a mid-week trip to Rwanda,” and Twitter conceited Frank says jokingly, “Fortunately, we can finally go back to Rwanda!”
“They are well organized”
But it is not at all surprising that you can travel to Rwanda, says Africa reporter Saskia Hotwin. They work very well there. “They are a prime example when it comes to tackling the epidemic in Africa.”
From the start, there was a clear approach and a rigorous set of measures in Rwanda regarding the pandemic. There were a lot of tests, and they kept a tidy record of their injuries and deaths and they were disciplined in carrying out procedures, says Houttuin. “They have also seen this in the European Council, the Council previously recommended that the situation in Rwanda be relaxed, and the Netherlands is now following that advice.”
Rwanda wants to produce and distribute vaccines
Rwanda’s holistic approach is now also reflected in the roll-out of the vaccination program, in which Rwanda wants to play a leading role in Africa. “They are taking advantage of the Covax program, so the poor countries can demand the vaccines. Rwanda also wants to produce and distribute the vaccines.”
Hotwin says Rwanda is doing very well, which is also successful because it has a very authoritarian regime and its docile population. “It’s also a small country, with a population of about 13 million. So it is also possible to implement a plan.”
Burundi and Tanzania
Countries around Rwanda do much less. Burundi and Tanzania, for example, took the epidemic less seriously from the start, and the last country did not even run more tests. “Even their bosses died under suspicious circumstances, and there is strong evidence that it might have been Covid.”
For Rwanda, it is a good idea for tourists to return to the country very slowly, as tourism is an important source of income, as Hotwin knows. “Mountain gorillas, mountains, nature and Rwanda are open to receiving people again.”
Test before you can enter the country
But it is not the case that the country will now once again allow hordes of people to enter at the same time. People who come will be tested and will have to stay in a hotel before they can travel with a negative test.
What about the countries surrounding the Netherlands? How things are going there? In France, the number of infections is around 400 per 100,000 inhabitants. This is about 250 for Germany and 200 for Spain. For comparison, the Netherlands itself now has, over 14 days, 565 infections per 100,000 inhabitants. Much higher than Rwanda.