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Govt should announce date for reopening of international borders: SA Tourism CEO

14 September 2020 6:29 PM
Tags:
SA Tourism
Sisa Ntshona
level 1
international travel
lockdown level 1
SA Tourism CEO

SA Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona says the tourism industry needs the government to announce a tentative date for the return of international travel.

This comes amid growing speculation that South Africa may be moving to lockdown alert level 1, which includes the reopening of international travel.

There have been unconfirmed reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa could be addressing the nation this week to announce a possible move to level 1.

Ntshona says the reopening of the country's borders is imminent.

He says the South African government needs to commit to a date when international borders will reopen in order to allow the industry to prepare itself.

What we need right now is an announcement on a future date so that we can start to get the engines warmed up for the date and get the entire machinery ready.

Sisa Ntshona, CEO - SA Tourism

Getting a date in place [while currently in the amber zone] gets the whole sector value chain started.

Sisa Ntshona, CEO - SA Tourism

He says the government will have to make important policy decisions on how to manage the risk of Covid-19 when international travel resumes.

Ntshona argues that South Africa’s reopening will be driven both by the country’s readiness to receive visitors and by prevailing travel policy in key source markets.

Countries are currently categorised as red zones, amber zones, or green zones according to their Covid-19 infection rates.

The metric used to assess each countries risk is seven-day cumulative cases per 100 000 people, the CEO explains.

South Africa has now entered the amber zone, which Ntshona says shows a downward trajectory of the country's infections.

He advises that tourists who travel to countries that are in amber zones will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine period upon return to their home country.

When we open up borders, I don't foresee a space where every country is welcomed. We'll be selective as to which countries we would welcome based on their level of infection rates.

Sisa Ntshona, CEO - SA Tourism

South Africa's Covid-19 cases have been coming down nicely. Only last week we were in the red zone and now we're in the amber zone.

Sisa Ntshona, CEO - SA Tourism

When you're in the red zone, many countries will actually impose travel advisories against you... You can announce opening up your borders, but if countries see you as a risk, then they won't encourage their citizens to travel to your country and they will also not be welcoming of South Africans into those economies.

Sisa Ntshona, CEO - SA Tourism

Listen to the discussion on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:


14 September 2020 6:29 PM
Tags:
SA Tourism
Sisa Ntshona
level 1
international travel
lockdown level 1
SA Tourism CEO

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