South African travel experts urge travellers to plan their trips with caution. Picture Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency
South African travel experts urge travellers to plan their trips with caution. Picture Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency

Third wave talks in SA: Should you book your winter holiday?

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published May 7, 2021

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The World Health Organization regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said this week that the Covid-19 situation in India and new variants place the African continent at risk of a third wave.

With the start of winter in Southern Africa, Moeti said there’s a potential for a surge in Covid-19 cases.

The talk of the third wave in South Africa has caused worry for South Africans who have planned holidays or on the verge of planning a getaway.

South African travel experts urge travellers to plan their trips with caution.

Natalie Knibbs, the owner of Africa Memories Travel, said travellers who are embarking on a holiday should ensure that they have comprehensive travel insurance, even if it is a local escape.

She said: "If you book, ensure you have adequate travel insurance to cover cancellation or postponement.

“Most establishments will postpone without penalties and you may have to pay the difference in the increase in pricing when you do travel.

“However, be aware that some establishments are not willing to postpone if travel is imminent as they are most likely not going to resell that space and still have overheads to pay."

Knibbs said travellers should consult with their tour operator before their trip. She said establishments follow their own set of Covid-19 terms and conditions.

"Your operator has good relationships with the establishments to be able to negotiate on your behalf and ensure your peace of mind when planning your travels," she said.

Modipadi Phoku, a travel agent in Johannesburg, said travellers should remain on guard.

"The risk of catching the virus is far greater in winter. Although we can't eliminate the risk of infection regardless of the season we travel in, we need to be responsible travellers and plan our trips with caution. I'd definitely urge travellers to delay their trips than risk getting infected or spreading the virus.

“If you really have to take that holiday, pay extra attention to your movement and follow the precautionary measures advised," she said.

Jennifer Morris, the owner of Travel Savvy, said travellers should book local getaways instead of venturing abroad.

"There is always a risk when it comes to booking an international holiday during the pandemic, especially if the country imposes restrictions while you are at the destination. I think it is fine to book a winter holiday as long as it is local.

“Make sure that the places you stay at are Covid-19 compliant," she said.

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