With South Africa experiencing a new variant of the coronavirus that is driving the second wave of infections, many countries have decided to close its borders to South African travellers. Picture: Maria Tyutina/Pexels.
With South Africa experiencing a new variant of the coronavirus that is driving the second wave of infections, many countries have decided to close its borders to South African travellers. Picture: Maria Tyutina/Pexels.

The destinations that won't allow South Africans entry due to coronavirus 501.v2 variant

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Dec 22, 2020

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With South Africa experiencing a new variant of the coronavirus that is driving the second wave of infections, many countries have decided to close its borders to South African travellers.

Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize tweeted last Friday: "A variant of the SARS-COV-2 Virus - currently termed 501.V2 Variant - has been identified by our genomics scientists here in South Africa. The evidence that has been collated, therefore, strongly suggests that the current second wave we are experiencing is being driven by this new variant."

Many destinations have since closed its borders to South Africans, here are some of the countries you cannot visit:

Mauritius

Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority announced that non-resident travellers who come from or have been in transit in South Africa and the UK during the last 14 days (as at December 21, 2020) will not be allowed to enter the Mauritian territory until December 31, 2020.

This follows the continuous and rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus in the UK and South Africa and the new coronavirus variant called 501.v2 variant. "We wish to reassure that all precautionary measures are being taken to protect the residents of Mauritius and other travellers," Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority revealed in a statement.

Switzerland

The Swiss government has imposed an entry ban for South African and UK nationals.

The government said in a statement on Monday, December 21: "Following the discovery of a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus in the UK and South Africa, the Federal Council today decided to take steps to prevent the further spread of this new virus strain.

All persons who have entered Switzerland from these two countries since 14 December must go into quarantine for 10 days. The Federal Council has also introduced a general entry ban from today for all foreign nationals seeking to enter Switzerland from the UK and South Africa. This is intended in particular to stop travel from these countries for tourism purposes."

The Federal Office of Civil Aviation FOCA ordered flights between Switzerland and these two countries to be suspended from December 20.

A temporary derogation from the flight ban is being considered for persons resident in the UK or South Africa currently staying in Switzerland so that they may return home.

Turkey

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca revealed that the country has temporarily suspended flights fro South Africa, UK, Denmark and The Netherlands.

Turkish Airlines’ CEO Bilal Eksi said on Twitter that passengers should not "take a rush in ticket transactions. He posted: "Based on the decision of our Ministry of Health to suspend flights from England, Denmark, the Netherlands and South Africa, we kindly request that none of our passengers take a rush in ticket transactions. None of our passengers will be victimised regarding ticket transactions."

Germany

German health minister Jens Spahn tweeted on Monday that South Africans won't be allowed to travel to the UK. He tweeted: "As a precautionary measure, air, sea and rail passengers from the United Kingdom and South Africa are not allowed to travel to Germany after midnight. This will apply until we know more about the #coronavirus mutations reported in both countries."

Israel

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu said that the country has stopped flights from South Africa, UK and Denmark.

He said on Twitter: "We are doing everything to prevent the entry of the new corona mutation into Israel. We closed the skies to all flights to Israel from the UK, Denmark and South Africa. These are the countries where the mutation is present. If necessary we will add more countries."

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has suspended flights until the end of the year, but will extend if the cases increase.

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