POLL | Should the UK ease restrictions for SA travellers?
It remains to be seen if the UK will remove SA from its travel red list after a meeting between experts from both countries on Monday.
TimesLIVE reported the health department said the parties met “to discuss the latest trends around Covid-19, respective Covid-19 testing strategies, and the prevalence and risk posed to our vaccination programmes by variants of concern”.
The department said the UK expressed a willingness to discuss the issue with the SA government and both countries agreed vaccination is a way out of the pandemic.
The red list means travellers who come from SA or travelled through the country are required to undergo quarantine at their own expense before they can enter the UK. This also applies to other countries on the list.
Minister of international relations and co-operation Naledi Pandor said SA was at the peak of the third wave when the list was announced.
She said there was a “deeper problem” with the UK disregarding Covid-19 information published by the SA government.
“When you see information on the UK’s infection rate published by their government, you take that as factual. SA similarly publishes information on a daily basis. If the UK does not regard this information as factual, then there’s a much deeper problem,” she said.
EFF leader Julius Malema weighed in on the debate around the list, saying if the UK insists on having SA on its travel red list, so be it.
“We don’t want to continue to be the subject of our colonial masters. They must decide what they want to do. It’s their own country, they decide for themselves. Why should people be crying to go to the UK?” said Malema.
“The ANC government must also put the UK on the red list because it has been red from colonial times. They put you on the red list, you put them on the red list. They want visas from you, you want visas from them. We are equals.
“This thing that we are treated as a colonial subject is wrong and we must not allow it.”