Scrap 'red list' for international travel, urges Western Cape
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The Western Cape province has expressed disappointment about the Department of Home Affairs revised “red list”.
The list now includes Germany, which they claim is a key international market for the province. In a statement released following the announcement, they reveal that "it kills our key source markets for tourism in the Western Cape."
Western Cape finance and economic opportunities MEC David Maynier said international markets are a key economic driver for the tourism sector in the Western Cape.
"The full reopening of our borders to leisure travellers, with stringent health protocols in place ahead of the summer season is absolutely critical to the sector’s immediate recovery, medium-term stability and long-term survival.
"We do welcome the increased capacity that has been allocated to process business traveller applications after I wrote to the Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, on this matter last week following several complaints about a failure to respond. I am pleased that my suggestion of a 24-hour turnaround for applications is being implemented and I now urge the department to finalise the remaining backlog of 1 588 applications as soon as possible.
"We also welcome the concession to allow regular visitors who are coming to stay for three months or more, subject to Covid-19 protocols," he said.
He believes the 'red list' needs to be scrapped.
"All visitors should be allowed entry into South Africa subject to presenting a negative PCR test conducted at least 72 hours before departure, together with screening protocols. There is simply no greater risk for transmission of the Covid-19 virus based on the purpose of travel yet the negative impact of continuing to limit the entry of leisure travellers to South Africa, especially from our key source markets, is severe and extreme. This alternative approach to international travel will ensure we reopen the economy safely to prevent job losses in the Western Cape and South Africa during the Covid-19 pandemic," he added.