The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) on Thursday welcomed the reopening of South Africa’s international borders, but called for urgent consultation with government to understand the methodology used to define the list of high-risk countries from which
leisure travellers are banned.
These were defined as those who come from countries with higher numbers of Covid-19 infections and reported deaths compared to South Africa, with medium-risk travellers being from countries with a relatively equal number of infections and death toll to South A.frica
The low-risk travellers come from countries with a lower number of infections of Covid-19 and death toll than South Africa.
“We are pleased that international borders are finally reopening so that the tourism sector can get back to work, contribute to the economy and save jobs.
“This is what we have been lobbying for fervently for many months,” said Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, chief executive of TBCSA.
“However, it is critical that government meets with the private sector as a matter of urgency to clarify the method used to draft the list of high-risk countries and the practicalities surrounding this suggested phased reopening, so that this can be examined and its feasibility determined.
“This is especially since there is no public health reason to ban travellers from any country, provided the testing regime and protocols are adhered to.”
Government announced this week leisure travellers from high risk countries would not be permitted to travel to South Africa, with the exception of business travellers with scarce skills, diplomats, investors and those participating in sports and other special events.