Travel to and from South Africa is increasingly opening up following its official exit last week from the third wave of COVID-19 and the move to lockdown level 1.
As the tourism industry waits with bated breath for an official announcement from the UK that it has been removed from the red list, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday (October 4) moved South Africa from risk alert Level 4 (Very High Risk) to Level 3 (High Risk).
This risk-level rating recommends travel for those US citizens who have been fully vaccinated.
In reaction to the news, CEO of SATSA, David Frost, told Tourism Update that even before this welcome news, members of the inbound travel association had confirmed high interest and demand for South Africa from the US.
“With the move to Level 3, we anticipate even greater demand, based on what we are seeing from other markets which have removed or eased their restrictions to South Africa,” he said.
Tourism Update also understands from readers that, as the US has never required quarantine on arrival from South Africa, it has also made it easier for inbound travellers from the States.
Vice President of Dragonfly Africa, Yolanda Woeke, told Tourism Update in a recent interview that she agreed the US market had been resilient and that there continued to be high demand for travel to SA.
“We have accommodated many of our clients on flights via the Middle East. But this is not ideal,” she said.
Will the UK ease its restrictions?
Frost said he expected the UK to remove restrictions for travel to SA this week. “We anticipate once that announcement is made it will open the door for that pent-up demand from our top source market to visit South Africa.
“It is a lobby we have been working on since May and we are grateful to our tourism industry for keeping the faith and supporting us throughout.”