South African Tourism has welcomed the end of all COVID-19 restrictions after South Africa’s cabinet yesterday concluded that they had served their purpose.
South African Tourism said it would be “a necessary shot in the arm for the tourism sector, which has been battered by more than two years of the global pandemic and related restrictions.”
The final revisions include the removal of the mask-wearing mandate indoors and limits on gatherings and border checks for COVID-19 – and the need to be vaccinated to enter South Africa.
The tourism body said abolishing the mask-wearing mandate and eliminating all restrictions on gatherings and port-of-entry vaccination requirements is a step in the right direction and will significantly benefit the entire tourism sector value chain.
“As custodians of tourism, we believe that the end of the restrictions is the tonic the sector needs to accelerate the rebound to pre-pandemic tourist arrival numbers and profitability levels,” they said in a statement.
“As South Africans, we are now more free to live, work, play and enjoy our own country even more while doing everything necessary to reclaim lost ground of our livelihoods without compromising our safety and lives. The safety of all South African citizens and our visitors remains top of mind for us.”
Two years before the pandemic, travel and tourism contributed 1.5 million jobs and R425.8 billion to the economy, representing 8.6 per cent of all economic activity in the country.
South African tourism said the changes signal that the country has reached a time to step into a ‘brave new world.’
“As we look forward to the ‘live with the virus’ future, it is opportune to focus on impediments and for the tourism sector to realise its true potential.”
For more on the revised regulations, head here.
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