South African travel experts don't expect the 4th wave to be as severe as the 2nd and 3rd waves. Picture: Anna Shvets/Pexels.
South African travel experts don't expect the 4th wave to be as severe as the 2nd and 3rd waves. Picture: Anna Shvets/Pexels.

Will possible 4th wave send South Africa back on the red list?

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Oct 8, 2021

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Now that South Africa is off the UK red list, attention is turning to the possible 4th wave predicted for December.

A few believe the 4th wave could push South Africa back on the UK's red list because it could be considered a high-risk area.

Although that is concerning, South African travel experts don't expect the 4th wave to be as severe as the 2nd and 3rd waves.

Speaking at the South African Tourism Association (Satsa) Story-Lobbying to get South Africa off the UK's Red List press conference on Friday, Gillian Saunders, an independent tourism and hospitality consultant, said there is likely to be a 4th wave.

However, she believes the vaccination process will help keep the 4th wave relatively small.

Saunders said: "There will be a 4th wave, but we believe that the country's vaccination programme will keep the numbers low.

"We do not foresee the 4th wave reaching levels that would put South Africa back on the red list or make it a high-risk Covid-19 destination."

Similarly, travel agency owner Jennifer Morris didn't expect the 4th wave to severely impact the tourism industry.

"With our vaccination programme climbing steadily, it is unlikely that a 4th wave will influence governments to add South Africa into any red list or consider it as a high-risk destination.

"The situation would have to take a dramatic reversal of our fortunes to get back on the red list. With that said, we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel and South Africa is fast becoming the top new destination to visit," she said.

One way the tourism industry hopes to encourage people to get vaccinated is through the #Jab4Tourism campaign. The campaign is a way for the industry to encourage vaccinations and speed up the process, which in turn helps travel fully resume.

Read the latest issue of IOL Travel here.

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