NEWS: South Africa to reopen – in 2021! and UK may allow travel from July 2020

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South Africa to reopen – in 2021!

I have generally been surprised that countries have been reopening to tourists as quickly as they have. Even Australia who many thought could remain closed until well into 2021 has proposed a timetable to open to safe countries soon. 

To be honest I was expecting South Africa to open by the autumn in time for the main tourist season. At the moment they are saying that domestic flights will only return by December 2020 and international borders will reopen in February 2021. This was announced to a committee in the South African parliament this week. It is based on South Africa returning to level one in the pandemic i.e. a very low rate of infection, which they predict will happen in February 2021. However, reading the charts of some of the country’s tourism boards, it looks as though there may be some room for improvement if tourism is able to reduce the risk level of its activities to allow it to open. I would assume this would include standards for social distancing and hygiene etc. 

 

UK may allow travel in July

Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5A,

Yesterday Boris Johnson confirmed to MPs that the UK are working on airbridge agreements which could be in place as early as 29 June. This would allow people to travel to certain countries without the need to quarantine on arrival, or when they return to the UK. Boris seemed to be keen to open up the UK for travel (thank god after this ridiculous blanket quarantine policy, 3 months too late) he said he wanted to have flows of people between countries “to have as sensible a quarantine scheme as possible and to keep flows as generous as we can.” The government has come under heavy criticism from the travel industry for the blanket quarantine scheme which has led to airlines such as Virgin saying that they not resuming flights until August at the earliest.

Chair of the transport select committee, Huw Merriman, asked:  “Many people have commented that a sensible regime would look at the countries and their R rate and if it’s below ours, then there should be no need for quarantine.

“Whilst that may not be possible for June 8, will that be possible for the next three week period which is June 29, to allow those buying cheaper flights for their summer holidays, which have gone on sale today, to be removed from the threat of quarantine?”

Boris replied: “Yes, absolutely – we want to make sure we use the three-week reviews to be sensible”. There will have to be further progress in the reduction of UK cases and the other country must have evidence that they are in a similar or better position. Given that the majority of Europe and Asia is in a better or equal position to the UK that looks promising. However, I can’t see many countries being quite so keen to have us!

After Matt Hancock’s last ridiculous statement on This Morning where he said there would be no “lavish” holidays abroad this summer, he has now backtracked a little today. 

Today he said: “I am a little bit more optimistic than I was about, about being able to get some foreign travel back up.

“And so that is one of the things where things have gone a bit better than expected.”

When asked whether people could potentially be allowed to go on holiday in July he said he would not rule it out. 

 

7 Comments on "NEWS: South Africa to reopen – in 2021! and UK may allow travel from July 2020"

  1. I’m hoping that Japan keeps its doors closed to us, because my travel insurance isn’t going to care less that I was going to Japan for the Olympics (since postponed).

  2. Bang goes my vacation to Cape Town & Sun City in October Grrrrr
    I suspect this will also be a final nail in the coffin of Comair

  3. I really don’t see SA being able to keep their borders closed for that long. The tourist industry would be destroyed, not to mention international business! Don’t believe everything you read! They are already at level 3… can they realistically maintain the current status for another 8 months?! I doubt it!

  4. Was good to also hear from Boris at that same session that he’s concerned over BA’s use of the Job Retention Scheme which they seem to be using until it runs out and then not retain staff – which goes against what it’s for. Hopefully he can put an end to BA’s horrendous behaviour.

  5. From Cape Town, we will move to Level 3 on the 1 st June which will allow domestic travel to resume however “essential travel” only. I think we will move to level 2 in July, there is a realisation that the problem is not importing cases but controlling the cases within the country. Level 2 will provide for essential international flights, business and then this will change to all travellers, guessing some time in August or September.

    From Gov.za
    No scheduled domestic flights will be permitted in Level 4. This is determined by the Risk Adjusted Strategy, which guides the easing of restrictions. Once the alert level moves to Level 3, limited movement of scheduled domestic flights will be allowed. It is only when the country’s alert level reaches Level 2, that we will fully open our airspace and allow movement of both domestic and international flights.

  6. Stephen Danson | 29 May 2020 at 11:32 am | Reply

    Michele,

    Can I suggest that you have a banner across the top of all your articles reminding people that the FCO advice is still against all but essential foreign travel and therefore few,if any, insurance policies will be valid

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