Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean



Algeria will reopen its borders after a year of closure

The tarmac of Oran, like those of Algiers and Constantine, will be able to welcome flights from abroad again (photo: F.Dubessy)
The tarmac of Oran, like those of Algiers and Constantine, will be able to welcome flights from abroad again (photo: F.Dubessy)
ALGERIA. The Algerian Council of Ministers has "approved proposals for a partial opening of Algeria's land and air borders from the beginning of June". The press release issued by the presidency on Sunday, May 16, 2021, states that only the three largest cities in the country will initially be concerned with the resumption of daily flights. Five rotations to and from the airports of Algiers, Constantine and Oran will be allowed from June 1, 2021.

All borders had been closed since March 17, 2020 to limit the spread of the pandemic in Algeria. A few flights allowed Algerian nationals to return to their country under certain conditions. But, they had been suspended on March 1, 2021 with the detection of the English variant (B.1.1.7) on site.

The reopening will be done under binding rules of compliance with anti-Covid sanitary measures on board, with the obligation to present on arrival in Algeria a PCR test of less than thirty-six hours and to submit to other tests. "The negative subjects will be allowed to enter and will be informed of the recommendations and instructions to follow. The positive subjects will be, as for them, subjected to a confinement of ten days", indicates Abderrahmane Benbouzid, Algerian Minister of Health. As for the tests, these confinements will be at the financial expense of visitors.

Problems with vaccine deliveries

According to the resource center of the American Johns Hopkins University, Algeria has so far recorded 125,311 cases of Covid-19 for 3,374 deaths.

Only 75,000 doses of vaccine have been injected in this country of 40 million people, which has received only 300,000 doses (50,000 Sputnik-5, 50,000 Astra-Zeneca and 200,000 Sinovac). At the beginning of May 2021, the Minister of Health mentioned new deliveries within a month with 400,000 doses of Chinese vaccine, 675,800 from Astra-Zeneca, and 50,000 from the Russians.

In an interview granted to the Algerian site TSA on May 12, 2021, Abderrahmane Benbouzid explained why Algeria would not work with Pfizer, despite discussions in November 2020 with the American group: "Pfizer put us in a situation that we could not accept insofar as it asked us to buy a number of vaccines, to pay in advance and to totally exonerate Pfizer from any prosecution in the event that the vaccine had defects. We didn't accept it, we still don't accept it."

Eric Apim

Tuesday, May 18th 2021

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