Team of scientists assist in getting SA removed from UK's red list
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CAPE TOWN - A team of scientists have been formed to advise the South African and British governments in an attempt to have South Africa removed from the UK’s red list, says Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
Being placed on a red list means that South Africans visiting the UK, even if vaccinated, will need to stay in a government-appointed hotel where they must quarantine for 10 days at their own cost.
In her keynote speech at Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit on Monday, Sisulu said she addressed the red list matter with the British Deputy High Commissioner to South African and that they agreed to bring together scientists and advisors from both countries to conduct further research into the Beta variant that has created the perception that South Africa is a Covid-19 hotspot.
Sisulu said the British government believes the Beta variant, which allegedly circumvents all vaccinations of the coronavirus is a South African variant.
“They are confusing the variant with South Africa because it was first detected here. But it does not mean it is a South African variant. We have agreed to have a joint team of scientists to advise the South African and British governments so they can get us out of the red and come with the right result,” she said.
Sisulu said removing African countries from the red list of European countries was a challenge that should embrace and work steadfastly to bring to an end.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a more negative impact on our tourism activities in the first half of 2020 than anticipated, and although recovery has begun in the third quarter, with the pandemic continuing to spread, many countries have slowed re-opening, and some are reinstating partial or complete lockdowns to protect susceptible populations.
“While our borders are open to accept visitors from across the globe, international travel has also been restricted by border closures in a number of our key international source markets.”