At the end of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday February 23, the Malagasy government announced the total reopening of the borders of the Big Island on March 5. The entry and exit of the Malagasy territory will however be regulated. Borders closed for months due to the coronavirus crisis. Madagascar had closed its air borders for the first time in March 2020 after the discovery of the first cases of coronavirus infection on the territory. In October 2020, the government announced a gradual resumption of international flights, but these were again suspended due to the resurgence of the epidemic. The reopening of the international airport of Ivato (Antananarivo) and that of Fascene (Nosy Be) to international flights did not materialize with the appearance of the Omicron variant. Last week, the Nosy Be Regional Tourist Office spoke of the “disastrous crisis situation” faced by “operators who work mainly with international tourism”. In a statement released Wednesday, private sector groups called for a full reopening of Madagascar’s borders. They claimed that between 2019 and 2021, the country lost 90% of its international and regional air traffic. This translates into a loss of nearly 3,900 billion ariary for the tourism sector, notes Madagascar-Tribune. During the Council of Ministers, the government decided to reopen Madagascar’s borders on March 5, 2022, given the significant drop in Covid-19 cases. Certain conditions will be imposed on entering and leaving the territory, but these will be communicated later. Foreign airlines will be able to resume their air links with the Big Island if they undertake to respect them.
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