Wed 11 Nov, 2020. President Ramaphosa updated the country about the sale of alcohol, lockdown regulations and international travel.: “My Fellow South Africans…”
Everyone in the tourism industry, and most people in general, had been wondering when international travel would resume, especially as we are approaching the festive season.
It’s a critical time for the tourism industry, with most airlines struggling to fill their flights due to low passenger numbers, and this is especially true with international flights.
This results in airlines cancelling flights or combining flights in order to make flying those routes economically viable.
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL back
President Cyril Ramaphosa said that economic recovery has to occur across all sectors, and that level one regulations will need to be amended.
Additionally, Ramaphosa also confirmed the lift on the international travel ban.
“Therefore, it’s now more important than ever for travellers to follow safety protocols to limit the spread of the disease.” Said President Ramaphosa.
“International travel will be open to all countries subject to the necessary health protocols and the presentation of a negative COVID-19 certificate”. He continued.
He added that by “utilising rapid tests and strict monitoring, government intends to limit the spread of the infection by those who would be travelling to South Africa. We expect that the measures we are going to take will greatly assist businesses; particularly in the tourism and hospitality sectors. We are focusing relentlessly on the implementation of our plan”.
The news comes as a relief to embattled airlines and hospitality businesses.
Following the president’s address, Tourism Business Council of SA CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa said, “The tourism industry contributes around R120 billion into the South African economy and it’s important that we give certainty to this market”.
International travel will still be subject to strict health protocols. Travellers must still present a negative COVID-19 test no less than 72 hours before departing their country of origin.
One concern is that test results have varying waiting times, and it’s unclear how travellers who were tested days before receiving their results would be admitted into the country.
The revised travel restrictions do however make provision for mandatory quarantine for certain travellers, albeit at their own cost.
While the change to the restrictions on international travel will be welcomed, trends around the world still show that travellers are still very reluctant to travel.
Business travel will immediately benefit, allowing businesses to once again connect with their clients and subsidiaries around the globe.