Borders open for tourists despite new Covid-19 strain: SA Tourism

26 November 2021 - 14:44
South African Tourism says SA borders remain open for leisure tourists and business events. Stock photo.
South African Tourism says SA borders remain open for leisure tourists and business events. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/simoneemanphotography

SA’s borders remain open and the country is ready to welcome leisure tourists and business delegates from all over the world.

This was the message from SA Tourism on Friday as temporary travel bans were imposed in response to a the new Covid-19 variant, B.1.1.529 or Nu.

Confirmation of the new variant detected in SA prompted the UK to add SA and five other Southern African countries to the UK’s travel red list from 2pm on Friday.

SA Tourism said although there was limited data at this stage, experts are working around the clock, using established surveillance systems, to understand the new variant and allow for the most effective interventions.

It said the country’s National Coronavirus Command Council planned to meet in the next few days to discuss further interventions to curb the spread of the variant. A meeting was confirmed for Sunday.

SA Tourism said interprovincial travel also remains in place so people in SA can continue to explore and enjoy the many fun things to do and attractions in the country.

“Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, SA’s businesses have provided safe tourism products, venues and establishments by implementing and adhering to globally-benchmarked health and safety protocols,” the organisation said.

It said SA’s sunny summer climate allowed for outdoor activities and fun experiences in wide open spaces.

“Whether it is a safari game drive in open-air vehicles, a hike or camping under the glorious African skies or a wine tasting in the vast winelands, SA has lots of safe tourism products and experiences to create memorable moments and experiences.”

SA Tourism said the country’s vaccination programme has retained a steady momentum and as of November 25, more than 25-million doses have been administered.

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