“A complete lack of Covid-19 measures” at an airport in the Paradise Archipelago of Zanzibar – now on the government of the Covid countries’ “red list” – shocked a hygiene audit team.
Well-respected UK aviation rating agency Skytrax said Abeid Amani Karume International Airport “has failed to adhere to Covid-19 security protocols” after assessing measures and standards at the airport earlier this month. And the team took amazing photos that showed a lot of passengers not wearing face masks.
Skytrax said the use of face masks in public areas of the airport was “disappointing”, that social distancing was not encouraged in seating areas and that the cleanliness of the terminals was “unsatisfactory”. A Skytrax source said it was “the worst rating” and received a two-star “Covid-19 Airport Safety Rating” – the lowest ever given.
Skytrax said Abeid Amani Karume International Airport “has failed to adhere to Covid-19 security protocols”. No face mask is in sight in this image captured by the audit team
The airport has received a two-star safety rating for Covid-19 Airport – the lowest Skytrax has given to date. Pictured is a congestion in the queue for immigration
A photo taken by the Skytrax team with the queue to enter the airport. According to Skytrax, Abeid Amani Karume International is the worst airport that has been rated so far
According to a recent study, Zanzibar is the most important place Brits dream to visit
The results are all the more shocking given that Zanzibar is considered an exotic vacation destination. As recently as last week, Zanzibar was named as the No. 1 place the British dream of visiting once the lockdown ends.
Abeid Amani Karume International’s Skytrax audit used procedural efficiency checks, visual observational analysis and cleanliness checks using ATP tests [surface cleanliness analysis]”and said the consistency of standards was a” key factor in the final assessment “.
The rating agency claimed that “there are no information guidelines in place throughout the airport that reflect the safe behavior of Covid-19, such as: B. Mask use or reminders of hand hygiene ”.
It added, “There are some older physical distancing markers and the existing ones are faded and damaged and there is no encouragement for social distancing in the seating areas. Due to the number of passengers during the test inspections, it was not possible to distance themselves. “
Skytrax noted that customer temperatures will be checked upon arrival, saying it was “the only monitoring and consistently applied policy for Covid-19 at Abeid Amani Karume International Airport”.
When it came to the use of face masks, Skytrax said this will not be enforced on passengers. “While many airport employees wear face masks, compliance levels are much lower than in other global regions.”
It was also stated: “If you do not have suitable PPE with you, you will not be able to buy such items in the terminal anywhere”.
Regarding the hand sanitizer supply, Skytrax stated that there were a few locations in the terminal where it was offered, but added that the locations, quality and visibility of the product are so much worse than we were on one busy international airport would expect the pandemic ‘.
Skytrax described the cleanliness of the airport terminal as “unsatisfactory” and said the overall condition of the terminal was “very poor”.
Skytrax said there were a few places offering hand sanitizer in the terminal but added that “the locations, quality and visibility of the product are so much worse than we would expect at a busy international airport during the pandemic would “.
It went on: “The cleanliness of the airport terminal is unsatisfactory and the maintenance personnel are not seen. Apart from the lack of disinfection options, the overall condition of the terminal is very poor.
‘The two-star safety rating for Covid-19 Airport is the lowest possible rating and indicates a poor standard of airport cleanliness and / or Covid-19 security protocols.
‘The two-star rating indicates that an airport, cleaning and hygiene protocol does not meet the minimum required standard for the safety of Covid-19. While two-star airports offer fair visual cleanliness and presentation, the standards for disinfection, hygiene and safety protocols are poor. ‘
Last June, John Magufuli, the president of Tanzania, where Zanzibar is located, declared the country “coronavirus-free”, although no official data on infections has been available since April 29, 2020.
According to the data available, the total number of cases in the country is 509 and the number of deaths is 21.
However, travelers from Tanzania recently tested positive for the South African tribe.
Skytrax’s Edward Plaisted said: ‘We are shocked by the poor health and safety standards at Abeid Amani Karume International Airport, which appear to reflect Tanzania’s rejection of Covid-19.
‘New cases of the South African virus variant have been confirmed in two travelers who flew to Denmark from Tanzania (Denmark Statens Serum Institut) on January 19. Three days later, the Covid-19 security audit was carried out by Skytrax, which confirmed the complete absence of Covid-19 measures.
Skytrax’s Edward Plaisted said, “We are shocked by the poor health and safety standards at Abeid Amani Karume International Airport.”
‘Our audit teams have been conducting Covid-19 audits at airports in most parts of the world for the past eight months and this airport is worse than we could ever have imagined as there are no Covid-19 security protocols.
“We advise all travelers planning to visit Zanzibar that this is a potentially dangerous airport to travel through in the current global pandemic.”
We advise all travelers wishing to visit Zanzibar that it is a potentially dangerous airport in the current global pandemic
Edward Plaisted, Skytrax
Brits returning from Zanzibar must now be quarantined in hotels for 10 days at their own expense, as Tanzania, which includes the archipelago, is now on the UK government’s red list of 30 Covid countries.
MailOnline expects hundreds of arrivals daily to be routed directly from airports to rooms where they will stay for the duration of their isolation and pay an estimated £ 1,500 bill – although ministers are hoping the numbers will slip through the floor ” as people avoid coming to the UK.
Skytrax is currently reviewing Covid-19 security measures being taken by airlines and airports around the world.
So far 48 airports around the world have been inspected, with Rome Fiumicino being the first to receive the maximum of five stars. Another five stars are Istanbul Airport and Bogota El Dorado Airport in Colombia.
It was announced last week that Edinburgh Airport became the first in the UK to receive a four-star safety rating for Covid-19 Airport. For comparison, Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester airports all have a three star rating.
Skytrax has also rated 20 airlines, with Qatar Airways and Latvian airline airBaltic receiving a maximum five-star rating. Those that have received a four-star rating include British Airways, easyJet, Emirates, Lufthansa, Ryanair, KLM and Air France.
MailOnline Travel has asked the Zanzibar Airports Authority for a comment.