The national airline company Air Algérie has not yet updated its reservation systems on all flights for the rest of 2020. The upsurge in coronavirus contaminations and the decision of the Algerian authorities to keep the borders closed until the epidemiological situation in Algeria, but also in neighbouring countries, has called into question the resumption of international flights during this year. Experts do not foresee a resumption of international flights before 2021.
This is now being put into practice. After having suspended its air links last March, Air Algérie operates only a few rare repatriation flights for Algerians blocked all over the world. To tell the truth, the company is almost at a standstill. And a resumption of flights is not for soon.
For several days now, Algeria has been experiencing an upsurge in coronavirus contaminations. In neighbouring countries, the health situation is even worse. Most of the countries that have dared to partially reopen their borders have been forced to close them all down following the emergence of a new wave of contaminations. This is particularly the case in France, Morocco and Tunisia.
Moreover, the Algerian authorities decided a few days ago to enlarge the list of wilayas concerned by the partial confinement. This measure now concerns 20 wilayas. In addition, the Algerian government decided to adapt the hours of partial confinement at home from 11 p.m. until the next day at 5 a.m. instead of 6 a.m., for the wilayas concerned by this measure.
The Scientific Committee for monitoring the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic in Algeria is categorical. The reopening of borders is not conceivable as long as the epidemiological situation in Algeria and neighbouring countries has not improved. For the members of the scientific committee, “the virus is imported. And the isolation of Algeria from countries that have seen an increase in Covid-19 cases is the right decision.
The Minister of Health, Abderrahmane Benbouzid warned against a French or Tunisian-style scenario. He stressed that several countries are already experiencing “a second wave of contamination with the virus. This prevents the reopening of airspace. The minister said that the question of reopening borders “will be discussed if the health situation in Algeria and other countries improves”.