A group of people who have claimed they refuse to take any of the COVID-19 vaccines — at a time when the number of cases around the world is at an all-time high — is reportedly looking for a cryptocurrency expert to join them in Africa.
According to a Friday report from Vice, the group of anti-vaxxers is building a “community” off the coast of southeastern Africa and plans to hire private chefs, television presenters and crypto experts. The company behind the group, Liberty Places, is a self-described real estate firm based out of the archipelago of Zanzibar. It has previously posted to social media regarding its plans to use “the latest technologies from blockchain to solar energy” in addition to criticizing the use of masks in fighting the pandemic.
Vice reported the group had praised Zanzibar for not implementing “mask mandates, social distancing measures or lockdowns, nor has it enforced any requirement for mandatory vaccines,” describing the island as “free from meddling bureaucracy.” The comments come at a time when the 7-day average number of new cases of COVID-19 is more than 3 million, and many public health officials and lawmakers continue to call for the use of social distancing, wearing masks and getting vaccinated and boosted when possible.
Many countries around the world are still closed to short-term visitors, with others that aren’t requiring a combination of proof of vaccination, quarantining at a hotel and a negative COVID-19 test. For visitors from the United States, Tanzania stands out as a country that allows tourists to enter with only a negative test — no mandatory quarantine or vaccination requirement. There is inconsistent data on the number of new cases in the country, but the limited size of Zanzibar makes it unlikely to be able to accommodate millions of anti-vaxxers so locals concerned about the virus could still practice social distancing.
Tanzania's central bank banned crypto in November 2019, but it has reportedly explored overturning its decision following comments from President Samia Suluhu Hassan in June urging the central bank to prepare for Bitcoin (BTC) and digital assets. The country is also reportedly planning to introduce a digital shilling after neighboring countries announced initiatives exploring CBDCs.
Cointelegraph reached out to Liberty Places, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.