The South African tourism industry is waiting with bated breath to hear whether the country will be removed from the UK’s controversial red list.
When scientists announced the discovery of a new virus in November, many countries instituted travel bans on the country. Several airlines suspended flights in and out of South Africa, leaving many stranded and dashing any hopes of recovery for the beleaguered tourism sector.
Bloomberg reported that “the UK poised to announce as soon as Tuesday the removal from its so-called Covid-19 red
The news of the travel bans was met with anger and disbelief by many across the country. President Speaking in Dakar earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa pushed back against the countries that had banned travel to and from the country.
“When South African scientists discovered the new variant Omicron, we immediately took on the responsibility of informing the world. However, what was the result?
“The western countries imposed a ban – as it were to punish excellence coming from Africa, preventing our people from traveling. However, this new variant continues to spread across the globe, beyond Southern Africa, including in their own countries,” he said.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, called for global solidarity. She further highlighted the devastating effects travel bans have on the livelihoods of those affected.
“With the omicron variant now detected in several regions of the world, putting in place travel bans that target Africa attacks global solidarity,” said Moeti. “COVID-19 constantly exploits our divisions. We will only get the better of the virus if we work together for solutions,” she said in a statement.
South Africans hoping to travel abroad will be happy to hear that the UK is also planning to end the mandatory requirement for a ten-day quarantine. Tourists from the so-called risky on the red list are currently mandated to spend over a week at a specialised hotel at their own cost. The stay costs 2 285 Pounds (R48 488,84) for a single person and 3715 Pounds (78 R834,16) per couple.