Following numerous discussions and pleas by South Africa’s government to its European counterparts, the UK travel ban remains firmly in place.South Africans travelling to the United Kingdom (UK) will continue to be subjected to costly and lengthy hotel quarantine periods as the UK government remains steadfast in its stance to keep South Africa on its red list. In her keynote address during the recently concluded Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit, Minister of Tourism, Lindiwe Sisulu noted that she had spoken with the British Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa on the matter of the red list. According to the Minister, the British government believes the Beta variant of the coronavirus originates from South African. “They are confusing the variant with South Africa because it was first detected here. But it does not mean it is a South African variant. We have agreed to have a joint team of scientists to advise the South African and British governments so they can get us out of the red and come with the right result,” said the Minister in her speech. A press release received by theplanner.guru indicates that after her discussion with the British Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa, it was agreed that scientists and advisors from both countries would be brought together to conduct further research into the Beta variant that has created the perception that South Africa is a hotspot for Covid-19.
The numerous pleas by South Africa’s local government are being heard by their UK counterparts and it remains to be seen whether the country will be removed from its red list in coming weeks.