It’s interesting to watch how every country seems to be planning for travel and tourism differently. Of course, it all has to do with how they’ve been doing in terms of controlling the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, but apparently also how much they depend on tourism and weigh that in comparison to the health and safety of its residents.
How each country (or sometimes U.S. state) decide to reopen and ensure its visitors don’t have COVID-19 is also different from place to place; temperature checks, blood tests, quarantines, GPS tracking, people from what countries can enter, etc. It’s be one heck of a spreadsheet, for sure!
Anyway, South Africa recently threw their hat into the ring of “this is when and how we’re going to let people back in.” Let’s just say that if you were planning to go to South Africa anytime soon, well, maybe pack slowly.
South Africa announced earlier this month that it won’t reopen to international tourists until February 2021. To add insult to injury, even domestic tourism isn’t set to begin until December 2020.
The National Coronavirus Command Council for South Africa advanced the country into Level 3 of the Risk Adjusted Strategy on June 1. For the tourist sector, that means car rental companies can operate, hotels can open, restaurants can open for take out or delivery and tour guides and travel agents can go back to work. However domestic and international air travel is still prohibited, except for a few domestic business flights between OR Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka International Airports.
Even with those few tourist and hospitality areas going back to work, they will be closely monitored.
“Based on the COVID-19 epidemic expected trajectory, the first phase of the recovery for the sector will be driven by domestic tourism, followed by regional tourism and international tourism next year,” Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced last week, as reported by the Evening Standard.
Kubayi-Ngubane also acknowledged how the government is working with those in hospitality: “The past two months of lockdown have been difficult for the tourism sector. We continued to see many businesses in the sector fighting for survival and our projections showed that almost 600,000 jobs were at risk if the sector doesn’t come into operation by September 2020. This reality led to both the government and private sector working together… to get the sector back into operation. As we open up the sector, we are therefore confident that measures have been put in place to protect our employees, suppliers, tourists and all those who are involved with the sector.”
So it seems that domestic tourism is not scheduled to begin until later this year, and international tourism won’t start until 2021. Of course, that’s assuming all goes well with the virus.
It gives you a lot of time to figure out what you’re going to pack.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary