WATCH | Travellers stranded at OR Tambo as Dirco tries to help those hit by Omicron travel ban

The Department of International Relations says it is assisting travellers stranded outside the country.

29 November 2021 - 20:27 By Catherine White

South Africans are bearing the brunt for having informed the world that the Omicron variant had been detected in SA.

Not only is this a huge inconvenience for travellers wanting to leave or enter the country, but the economy, particularly tourism and hospitality, will suffer.

Reuters spoke to travellers at OR Tambo International Airport who were trying to make it to the United Kingdom and other countries. 

“We don't know what to do, we are just waiting here, we don't know how they will help, but they just told us they can't help us,” said Ntabiseng Kabeli, a stranded passenger from Lesotho.

Speaking to TimesLIVE Video, Dr Angelique Coetzee said: “The economy can barely handle these travel restrictions, let alone another lockdown. Therefore it is important that everyone vaccinates.”

She further explained: “If people don't want to take the vaccine, the government will eventually force them, because they don't want to listen and it is the only way.” 

Scientists are monitoring Omicron and said there was still much more they needed to learn about the variant. They did, however, stress that they were prepared for a new variant and possible fourth wave, and based on the three previous waves they have enough data to act accordingly and will monitor developments closely.

Watch the highlights of President Cyril Ramaphosa's Sunday night address below.  



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