CAPE TOWN – A team of scientists has been formed to advise the South African and British governments in an attempt to have South Africa removed from the UK’s Covid-19 travek red list, Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said.

Being on the list means South Africans visiting the UK, even if vaccinated against the coronavirus, have 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 had addressed the red list matter with the British deputy high commissioner to South African and they agreed to bring together scientists and advisors from both countries to conduct further research into the Beta variant which has created the perception that South Africa is a Covid-19 hotspot.

Sisulu said the British government believed the Beta variant which allegedly circumvents all vaccinations against the virus was 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 European countries’ red lists was a challenge.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Cape Times

Source: African News Agency

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