Planning to travel? Western Cape launches tourism site for travel restrictions and 'red list' countries

06 November 2020 - 08:06
The Western Cape has launched a Safe Travels website to clear up the confusion about the 'red list' of countries restricted from travelling to SA and provide information on the latest Covid-19 safety protocols.
The Western Cape has launched a Safe Travels website to clear up the confusion about the 'red list' of countries restricted from travelling to SA and provide information on the latest Covid-19 safety protocols.
Image: 123RF / Iakovenko

In an effort to clear up the confusion around the “red list” of countries restricted from travelling to SA, the Western Cape has launched a Safe Travels website.

The website, which was developed by the department of economic development and tourism, is said to help domestic and international tourists navigate the restrictions on travel and be informed about the health and safety protocols to follow when visiting Cape Town and the Western Cape.

The province's minister of finance and economic opportunities, David Maynier, said the site aims to offer peace of mind to those travelling for business or leisure.

According to Maynier, due to the government’s risk-based approach to international travel and the “red list” of countries restricted from travelling to SA, there was still much confusion and uncertainty in the travel and tourism industry.

“The ‘red list’ is not being reviewed consistently every two weeks as promised,” he said. “So, to guide tourists and ensure their visit to Cape Town and the Western Cape is as hassle-free as possible, our website provides the latest information on travel restrictions and the ‘red list’, as well as visa requirements and the latest Covid-19 health and safety information.”

Maynier said the website was an example of the many ways that the province had worked hard since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to support businesses, especially those in tourism.

“By providing this one-stop-shop for travellers, we hope to convince tourists who are deciding where to book their next holiday, that they can confidently choose to visit Cape Town and the Western Cape because we are travel-ready,” said Maynier.

“International markets are a key economic driver for the tourism sector in the Western Cape, especially during the summer season, and will be critical to the survival of the sector.

“This is why we have maintained from the start that the national government must scrap the ‘red list’ and allow all visitors entry into SA, subject to presenting a negative PCR test conducted at least 72 hours prior to departure, together with screening protocols.”

Last month, the Western Cape called for the department of home affairs to revise the “red list”, saying it is killing the province's key source markets for tourism.

This after the department reviewed the list of high-risk countries that are restricted from entering SA under the country’s level 1 lockdown rules.

The list of countries was cut from 60 to 22. Countries deemed high-risk include the US, Germany, India and Brazil.

The current regulations only allow business travellers, holders of critical skills visas, investors and people on an international mission in sports, arts, culture and science from high-risk countries to enter SA. Leisure travellers from these countries are not permitted entry to SA.