In response to news that Next Pathology will open its rapid PCR testing facility at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport – at R2 000 (€115) per person – MD of Wild Wings Safaris, Onne Vegter, wrote:
“Good to have another rapid testing option available, but the cost is going to put people off. Everyone in tourism should unite to demand an end to mandatory PCR tests for vaccinated travellers.
The cost and inconvenience of PCR testing is an obstacle to tourism recovery. It is not sustainable and frankly it has no basis in science. Among the fully vaccinated, mortality from COVID is now much lower than that of seasonal influenza. Did we ever see tourists being forced to test negative for swine flu, bird flu or seasonal influenza? We are tolerating this at our own peril.
Why do we see ongoing mandatory PCR tests, masks even in outdoor settings, vaccine passes, new lockdown restrictions and travel bans, even by countries like Israel and the UK with over 70% of their population vaccinated and close to zero COVID mortality now? This is not science. It is madness, driven by fear.
This authoritarian overreach of governments needs to stop. It's great that we have vaccines for COVID now. People who want to, can now get vaccinated. Let everyone make their own decision regarding vaccination, and open up the world. It's time to stop this nonsense.”