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Tourism minister welcomes scrapping of PCR tests for travellers visiting SA, looks forward to conferencing rebound

23 March 2022 - 07:48 By Nomahlubi Sonjica
Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu has welcomed the scrapping of PCR tests for travellers entering the country.
Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu has welcomed the scrapping of PCR tests for travellers entering the country.
Image: Trevor Samson

The tourism ministry has welcomed government’s decision to scrap PCR tests for people visiting the country.

On Tuesday night President Cyril Ramaphosa announced all travellers entering the country would need to show either proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test not older than 72 hours.

All unvaccinated travellers entering the country would be given the choice to vaccinate.

“As we are all looking forward to a brighter year for the SA tourism sector’s recovery, these revised regulations are most welcome. The revisions will immediately address some challenges travellers and the tourism industry have expressed and will make SA more accessible and attractive. Doing away with the requirement of a PCR test for all arrivals reduces the added cost and administrative burden of travelling,” said tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

She said increasing the number of people attending indoor events was a major boost for leisure travel and the business events industry.

“We look forward to SA hosting many more physical meetings and conferences that can be held on a larger scale,” Sisulu said.

The announcements come at an “opportune” time as her department plans to host Africa’s travel indaba in May after a two-year absence due to the pandemic, the minister said.

“SA’s borders are open and we are ready to welcome regional and international visitors. Our globally benchmarked norms and standards are in place to ensure the safety of all citizens and visitors.

“Now is a great time to travel for business and leisure. Come and explore our beautiful country. We stand ready to welcome travellers near and far,” she said.

Sisulu also expressed her delight about sporting codes, music festivals and major conferences being permitted as this will bring more tourists to the country.

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