There is no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis has not yet stopped in Cameroon. With a little more than 12,000 contaminations and a little more than 300 deaths to date, the Cameroonian government seems however to succeed in containing it, with a cure rate estimated at 80% (more than 10,000 cures to date).
The pandemic has generally slowed down all activities on the continent, and Cameroon is obviously not spared. If digital-related activities are still on the rise, however, other commercial activities such as flights have been hit hard by the arrival of this crisis, with the closure of borders and the suspension of commercial flights. .
However, an announcement made on May 21 by local authorities is not far from making headlines. This concerns the resumption of commercial flights Paris-Yaoundé.
Opening of borders to Air France with restrictive measures
The press release was signed by Antoine Ahmadou, the interim charge d’affaires. Indeed, the announcement comes primarily from the Cameroonian Embassy in France, and the primary objective is to end the wait for Cameroonian citizens stranded in France for reasons of COVID, and vice versa. In turn, people employed in France and stranded in Cameroon due to COVID, just like people employed in Cameroon and stranded due to COVID, have been freed from their wait.
It should be noted, however, that things were not done in the usual way with these flights. Accurate documentation was expected from applicants, and they had to submit to particularly strict access conditions. In addition to the compulsory wearing of a mask when entering one of the terminals at the exit of the other, access to the latter was simply prohibited for accompanying persons. If people coming from France were to undertake to self-confine at their own expense (notably by signing a formal commitment), screening tests negative for the disease (test dating back less than 7 days) were also required to boarding, and tickets could only be bought online, sales being closed in the terminals.
A rotation system for better control of the return of passengers, but which poses a problem for the latter
The measure was effective as of May 25, and the collaboration of the two governments was aimed at the controlled returns of passengers waiting for 3 months. In practice, the application turned out to be relatively complex. Indeed, a large number of customers who are candidates for travel and who have been waiting since the start of the crisis have stormed the headquarters of Air France and the management of these concomitantly with that of the others has caused ink to flow. . The definition of “priority” passengers (people married in France and nursing staff in particular) was at the heart of the discussions, so many passengers felt wronged for the benefit of others.
For an easing of tensions
All the same, the reopening, even partial, of the air borders has come to calm growing tensions within the Cameroonian community in particular, because the return “to normal” allows those who had to find their territories of expression to “put back” their lives. in the prospect of a positive development, something difficult to achieve when they were almost totally shut down for 3 months. It should be noted that the first flight arriving from France did not register any suspected or confirmed case requiring treatment. This suggests that the measure taken (exceptionally, because to date, the borders are still closed) was of good quality. All that’s left for us to do is watch how things develop.