Tunisia to open sea, air and land borders on June 27

A woman wears a protective mask as she walks in the streets of Tunis, Tunisia on March 3, 2020.

Tunisia will open its sea, land and air borders on June 27, authorities said on Monday, in hopes of rescuing its tourism industry as the coronavirus pandemic comes under control.

The government said also it will allow movement between cities again from Thursday.

The North African country has recorded 1 070 cases and 48 deaths, with only two people still in the hospital.

Tunisia has forecast its economy will shrink up to 4.3% this year, the steepest drop since 1956 independence.

The important tourism sector could lose $1.4 billion and 400,000 jobs this year due to the pandemic.

Partial reopening of the economy

Tunisia started relaxing its coronavirus lockdown restrictions last month, reopening parts of the food and construction sectors, and allowing half of government employees to return to work.

Further easing also saw the reopening of clothing shops and malls.

The Minister in charge of major projects Lobna Jribi said the plan is to open the economy gradually, but still control the pandemic.

Africa’s response to COVID-19

Africa could emerge stronger and more united from the COVID-19 crisis as it looks for more coordinated solutions to the disease,  according to the African Union Head of Infrastructure Development Raila Odinga.

In an interview early last month, Odinga said with African innovators now seeking home-grown solutions to some of the emerging challenges in containing the disease, the continent could be more self-reliant