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Coronavirus: European tourists say they are better off in SA

Health workers at work in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday. Picture: AP Photo/Joan Mateu

Health workers at work in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday. Picture: AP Photo/Joan Mateu

Published Mar 17, 2020


Cape Town – European tourists in Cape Town have said they are better off in South Africa than they are in their own countries, where the Covid-19 virus spread is much wider.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on

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Sunday announced a travel ban for foreign nationals from high-risk countries, including Italy, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the US, UK, China and Iran.

He also advised all South African citizens to refrain from all forms of travel to or through European countries and other identified high-risk countries such as China, Iran and South Korea.

Swedish tourist Erik Axelsson is doing his internship in the City and said he felt safer in South Africa than he would at home.

“I’m leaving in three weeks, so that’s a concern for me right now, even though there aren’t cases in my home town.

“I’m nervous for my parents and older people,” he said.

Portuguese tourist Jessica Tavares De Almeida said she was happier in South Africa.

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“I am glad I arrived last week, right before big measures were taken, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to come.

“Hopefully it won’t have too much of an impact on the SA economy as it relies so much on tourism,” she said.

Tourist Mathias Misok, from Germany, said: “I have just come back from a road trip in South America and put myself in isolation.

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“The reason for my self-isolation is to protect others as I don’t know if someone was infected on the plane or not,” he said.

SA Tourism chief executive Sisa Ntshona said the travel bans on foreign nationals from high-risk countries, including the cancellation of visas, would have a profound impact on the tourism sector.

However, this opportunity should be used to collaborate to find solutions beyond the current crisis.

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Robben Island Museum (RIM) spokesperson Morongoa Ramaboa said the museum had to cancel its 3pm tour due to an urgent internal meeting.

“Following Cyril Ramaphosa’s national address about coronavirus where he declared a national state of disaster, Robben Island Museum has since seen a need to further review our operations given the rising reported cases,” said Ramaboa.

Cape Times

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