With South Africa experiencing its second wave, experts say South Africans should choose local. Picture: Luke Barky/Pexels.
With South Africa experiencing its second wave, experts say South Africans should choose local. Picture: Luke Barky/Pexels.

SA travel experts say ditch international holidays and travel local during second wave

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Dec 23, 2020

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As South Africa experiences a surge of coronavirus cases during its second wave, travel experts are urging locals to ditch international travel and explore local destinations instead.

Jennifer Morris, the owner of Travel Savvy, said that travellers may have to wait "a little longer before venturing beyond our borders for leisure purposes."

She told IOL Travel: "As must as it pains me to say this, I think that people should defer their international holidays to a later time and travel within South Africa instead, if at all.

"If you really do want to get away over the next few months, my advice would be to choose local, self-catering options in places where it will be easy to keep a social distance."

Morris said people who are opting to travel need to sanitise regularly and wear their masks at all times.

"Over the last few weeks, South Africans have had to come to terms with the reality that our second Covid wave is likely to be worse than the first. The virus is spreading faster than it did before, and we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent or fall into bad habits," she said.

Modipadi Phoku, a travel agent in Johannesburg, said those who choose to travel should still be able to enjoy their trips and memorable moments without fear.

"While you enjoy yourself, ensure that you take all the necessary precautions. By taking care of yourself, you're taking care of those around you as everyone is at risk," she said.

Phoku shares some tips for travellers: "Always carry additional safety supplies (masks, bottled soap, sanitisers, tissues to dry hands) and sanitise or wash hands with soap as frequently as you can. If you feel sick, rather postpone your trip. With the new variant, one person could easily infect a much larger number of people. It's best to opt for online or contactless services to observe social distancing.

"Always open windows if you're using public transportation to allow ventilation as people easily forget, especially when using metered transportation," she advised.

Travel at your own risk

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Dr Naledi Pandor said last week that South Africans need to be cautious when travelling to these countries "as you may become distressed or even destitute abroad depending on the levels of lockdown in the respective countries".

"Please be aware that if you do travel, you travel at your own risk to these countries. Please be sure that you are familiar with the immigration and health entry requirements of the country you will visit and South Africa's health entry requirements during the pandemic," she said at a media briefing.

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