Durban - South Africans woke up to the news that the country had been placed back on the United Kingdom's red list.
IOL reported that several flights had been cancelled thus far.
However, according to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the decision was rushed.
Dirco Minister Naledi Pandor said she would engage with the UK government with the view to persuade them to reconsider the decision.
"Our immediate concern is the damage that this decision will cause to both the tourism industries and businesses of both countries," she said.
Pandor said while South Africa respects the right of all countries to take the necessary precautionary measures to protect their citizens, the UK’s decision to temporarily ban South Africans from entering the UK seems to have been rushed as even the WHO is yet to advise on the next steps.
Late yesterday, news broke of the UK’s travel ban announcement due to the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant.
COVID-19 UPDATE:@UKHSA is investigating a new variant. More data is needed but we're taking precautions now.— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) November 25, 2021
From noon tomorrow six African countries will be added to the red list, flights will be temporarily banned, and UK travellers must quarantine.
Speaking during a media briefing on Thursday, Professor Tulio de Oliveira, the director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (Krisp), said the strain was not a South African strain.