Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier released a statement on Monday 19 October expressing disappointment over government’s recent announcement of a revised “high-risk” travel list rather than a full reopening of international travel.

This comes after government cut the “high-risk” travel list from 60 countries to 22. In other words, people from 22 countries, rather than 60, may now travel to South Africa. Despite the cut, Maynier said it’s still disappointing that Germany is on the list, saying it will “kill” key source markets for tourism in the Western Cape.

MAYNIER DISAPPOINTED OVER REVISED HIGH-RISK TRAVEL LIST

Maynier said international markets are a key economic driver for the tourism sector in the Western Cape, and so the full reopening of South African borders to leisure travellers, with stringent health protocols in place is absolutely critical to the sector’s immediate recovery, medium-term stability and long-term survival.     

“We do welcome the increased capacity that has been allocated to process business traveller applications after I wrote to the Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, on this matter last week following several complaints about a failure to respond,” said Maynier.  

“I am also pleased that my suggestion of a 24-hour turnaround for applications is being implemented and I now urge the department to finalise the remaining backlog of 1 588 applications as soon as possible,” he added. 

Maynier said he also welcomes the concession to allow regular visitors who are coming to stay for a three-month period or more, subject to COVID-19 protocols.

“But at the end of the day, the additional concession underlines the point that we have maintained from the start – that the [high-risk travel] “red list” needs to be scrapped and all visitors should be allowed entry into South Africa subject to presenting a negative PCR test conducted at least 72 hours prior to departure, together with screening protocols,” said Maynier. 

THESE COUNTRIES ARE NOW BANNED FROM LEISURE TRAVEL TO SOUTH AFRICA  

  1. Argentina
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Belgium
  4. Brazil
  5. Canada
  6. Chile
  7. Colombia
  8. France
  9. Germany
  10. India
  11. Indonesia
  12. Iran
  13. Iraq
  14. Italy
  15. Mexico
  16. The Netherlands
  17. Peru
  18. The Philippines
  19. Russia
  20. Spain
  21. The United Kingdom
  22. The United States of America

The Department of Tourism said the revised high-risk travel list has been produced in a way that strikes a balance.

“The review of the list of high-risk countries was done in such a way that it strikes a balance between saving lives and protecting livelihoods. Nothing has changed as far as all travellers from the continent of Africa are concerned. They are still welcome to visit the country subject to COVID-19 protocols,” the Department of Tourism said in a statement on Monday. 

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Presh JM Reporter

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