The last 18 months have been tough for the tourism industry and avid international travellers as the COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on travel plans.
However, there’s some good news for South Africans looking to jet off to destinations far and wide, especially if Ireland is on your travel list. The European nation has removed South Africa from its highly restrictive “list of designated States,” reports Business Insider, with the new regulation coming into effect on Friday. This is only applicable to vaccinated travellers, with many doing a little happy dance as the rest of Europe follow suit and slowly open its borders to South African travellers.
It may be a bittersweet moment for tourists and the tourism industry as SA is still receiving a big fat “No” from its key market – the United Kingdom. The UK has consistently topped the overseas visitor list for South Africa. However, various organisations, including the Cape Town Tourism board are hard at work to ensure that SA is removed from the UK’s infamous “Red List,” reports IOL.
“We are ready to welcome visitors. We just need to get off the red list now. This is why we are throwing our voice and weight behind SATSA on its ‘Red List’ Lobbying Project,” states the board’s chairperson, Brett Hendricks.
South Africa’s medical status and readiness have been called into question, which has been compounded by the slow start of our vaccine roll-out and questions around the vaccine’s efficiency against the Beta variant, all factors that have contributed to our remainder on the UK’s Red List. SA’s firm position on this list, however, remains a costly affair as the tourism industry continues to lose out on money.