UNWTO warns against swine flu second wave

The UNWTO has called upon the travel and tourism industry to be extra vigilant against swine flu over the next few months with the arrival of the flu season in the northern hemisphere. But the tourism body underscored that travel limitations would not limit the spread of the virus because it is already “the dominant influenza strain in most parts of the world”.

The announcement follows a two-day review ‘Travel and Tourism under Pandemic Conditions’ in Madrid to anticipate the challenges the virus will bring over the next few months and ensure that the travel and tourism sector is fully prepared for the evolving pandemic.

“This review was timely and exceptionally helpful to strengthen our sector’s preparedness and to ensure that tourism and travel continues to be effectively embedded in the global pandemic response”, said UNWTO Assistant Secretary-General Geoffrey Lipman.

“We particularly appreciate the involvement and leadership of the World Health Organization”.

In line with WHO recommendations, the event stressed that travellers should be vigilant about their own health, stay informed and follow fundamental hygiene precautionary measures such as frequent hand washing and proper cough etiquette.

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It was also emphasised that travellers should ensure that their travel insurance will cover unforeseen flu related costs in the event they fall sick away from home and should take medical advice should they experience flu symptoms immediately before, during or after travel.