Tourism lobby groups are fearful that the sector that has been on its last legs since the start of the nation-wide lockdown. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
Tourism lobby groups are fearful that the sector that has been on its last legs since the start of the nation-wide lockdown. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Tourism lobby groups call for risk-based restrictions on travel to be lifted

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Oct 19, 2020

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Cape Town - As the summer tourism season approaches tourism lobby groups are fearful that the sector that has been on its last legs since the start of the nation-wide lockdown, could be dealt a fatal blow if the travel restriction are not lifted.

Many lobby groups are asking the government to scrap the risk-based approach.

Mayco member for economic opportunities and asset management James Vos said: “The risk-based approach regulating international travel is a major blow for the tourism and hospitality sector and short-sighted. I would love to welcome international guests from all countries for leisure purposes by implementing the very same protocols currently in place for business travellers from high-risk countries.”

Vos said he would engage national government to lobby for this, especially as the City heads into its peak visitor season.

“What is disappointing is how long it has taken for the national government to give certainty to our desperate tourism sector on which countries would be considered high, medium and low risk. Very little planning has been possible, and frankly, this may compromise recovery.

Under the regulations, business travellers must request permission from the department to travel for business from high-risk countries to South Africa. In addition, travellers are required to produce proof of a negative Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours from the time of departure, supplemented by screening on arrival and antigen testing at the airport.

There are 57 countries on the high-risk list.

Tourism Business Council of SA chief executive Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa said: “There is no reason for the high risk or medium-risk approach; everyone should just get tested."

Cape Argus

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