Level 1 latest: What to expect from South Africa’s ‘travel restriction list’

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Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has revealed that ‘most countries’ will be allowed on South Africa’s permitted travel list for Level 1, as the country prepares to open its international borders on Thursday.

Level 1: When will South Africa reopen its borders?

MKN was speaking during an event to commemorate World Tourism Day. The industry has taken a pummeling in South Africa, following six months of lockdown. Despite a recent recovery, the minister has suggested that more needs to be done to boost domestic tourism. Kubayi-Ngubane believes a ‘local pricing structure’ could help solve the problem:

“We are mindful that a significant portion of our tourism market is geared towards international travellers, making a lot of pricing structures unaffordable for some domestic travellers.”

“The market must be innovative, and adapt to the needs of locals. Incentives such as affordable rates, discounts, and upgrades for South Africans could go a long way.”Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane

Which countries will feature on South Africa’s ‘travel list’, and what restrictions can we expect?

Judging by the comments made by both the tourism minister and Fikile Mbalula in the past few days, it’s understood that South Africa’s travel list will be based on the following criteria:

  • Most countries will be allowed to send tourists to South Africa, and vice versa. We expect the travel list to be small.
  • Mbalula has already hinted that the United States of America could be considered a ‘high-risk country’.
  • Reports from earlier this month suggest that the UK, France, and Spain may also be subject to outright restrictions.
  • Inversely, he used the UAE as an example of a low-risk country. Mbaks is already angling for another Dubai trip, we see
  • There may be ‘regional bans’ introduced. So you could travel abroad to a foreign country, but may be restricted on where exactly you could travel to while there.
  • However, ‘continental bans’ are not on the cards. It’s unlikely that ‘Europe, Asia or South America’ as a whole will be added to the travel list.

Visit South Africa – there’s nowhere else like it

So, what is the tourism department’s message to international travellers who will be able to visit South Africa by the end of the week? It’s simple: No other country can offer such a diverse range of activities:

“The Cabinet’s decision to open up our borders on 1 October 2020 to most countries is a significant step on the path towards a full recovery. South Africa is a preferred destination because it offers a diverse range of tourism products.”

“The rising domestic demand which will soon be augmented by the international market when we open the borders will have to be met by sufficient supply-side infrastructure. This is a very critical element of our road to recovery.”Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane

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