18-01-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo
The controversy erupts after the confirmation of the new DPCM of an Italian Government that between today and tomorrow faces its toughest battle to stay in the saddle. In two days, the Portal of Italians in Kenya has received dozens of emails and messages on its social pages from compatriots outraged because Italy still does not reopen the international borders for tourism.
This happens even for countries where the daily data related to Covid-19 are absolutely derisory, compared to the Italian ones.
"If anything, it would be Kenya that should worry about receiving Italians,' says Enzo, a reader who writes to us privately on Facebook's www.malindikenya.net page. 'Given that the African country doesn't have any problems, asking only to arrive with a PCR swab, I don't see why Italy shouldn't let us out. They keep us in a cage and do not accept that we may wish, after so many months, to escape for a while in a warm place to recover, always respecting the rules of the host country.
Like Enzo, many cannot understand the attitude of the Italian institutions, which in practice are not even that diligent in applying the decree and the fact is demonstrated by the number of Italians who have arrived in Malindi and Watamu in the last two weeks.
"I understand that as long as I am in my country I must respect the rules,' says Antonia, 'but they cannot take away my freedom to travel to destinations that are ready to welcome me. They cannot take away my freedom to travel to destinations that are ready to receive me. Then take away my passport, like criminals, which will be faster.
This impatience is understandable, even if we repeat that Kenya is not yet out of the emergency, although the official data and also the actual situation allow optimism and especially given the fact that the population has practically never observed the rules of the pandemic emergency, except for the curfew which is the only truly controlled restriction.
If you then think that Tanzania's neighbours have never done anything at all, declaring themselves 'Covid Free' since last April, you really have to wonder why Italians cannot return on holiday at least to Kenya, where precautions are required and above all you are monitored when you arrive, when the Government sends everyone a text message inviting them to report any inconvenience that could be linked to Covid-19.
Since Christmas, Zanzibar has been invaded by international tourists, mainly from eastern countries, and does not even ask for an incoming swab (required by most airlines, however). There have been no reports of hospitalisations or deaths, with the hotels breathing again and the island's activities proceeding as if nothing had happened, despite suffering from the lack of organised tourism from Italy, Germany and other European countries.
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