It is with growing concern that I watch various people being interviewed and still making statements against imposing travel bans to and from South Africa.

Again this morning a doctor said it would be detrimental to the country and the tourism industry. Perhaps they do not realise that it already is? For the past week, all that those of us in the tourism industry have been doing is cancellations and postponements.

So should we wait until the virus has spread so far around South Africa that we then decide to impose bans and restrictions? Which is what they seem to be saying. Have we learnt nothing from Italy?

Please, instead of holding webinars and other pointless exercises, can someone make the decision, because if we don’t, once the virus has spread, it is going to take a very long time for South Africa to recover.

Once all the other countries are travelling again, we will still be dealing with this. At least if we shut down for a short period, clients will be able to claim from travel insurance or postpone and, hopefully, still travel here within the year.

South Africa may then survive, figuratively and literally.

Lisa Milner, owner of Rhythm Africa Tours