- Naledi Pandor has expressed that the UK acted in a premature and rushed manner by placing a travel ban on southern African countries
- The UK, Israel, Singapore and Germany have announced various travel restrictions on people travelling from southern Africa
- South Africans are awaiting a statement or address on the topic by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is yet to speak publicly about the new variant
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Naledi Pandor, the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, has responded to the UK's decision to impose strict travel restrictions on South Africa following the announcement of a new Covid-19 variant being detected.
Pandor believes the decision was premature and rushed as very little is currently known about the new variant, so restrictions should only be revised when more information becomes available. The World Health Organization (WHO) is yet to announce its recommendations.
According to TimesLIVE, Pandor is concerned about the effect of travel bans on South Africa's economy as the income that would be been generated from tourism over the festive period would have provided South Africa with the necessary financial boost to start recovering from multiple lockdowns.
More travel bans placed on SA
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From Sunday, Singapore will not allow anyone who has been in southern African countries 14 days prior to travelling to Singapore to enter the country, unless they have prior authorisation to travel there.
Germany will only let its own citizens travel there from South Africa as the country has named South Africa a virus variant area. Returning German citizens will have to complete a two-week quarantine period even if they have been vaccinated.
Reactions to travel bans
"This is so not justified."
"How proactive has @DIRCO_ZA been?They ought to have preempted this response from the UK @GovernmentZA @HealthZA @CyrilRamaphosa @RonaldLamola @MbalulaFikile."
"They are all in this together."
"Where's the president, he's all quiet, awaiting family meeting."
New Covid-19 variant might be resistant to vaccines
Yesterday, Briefly News reported that experts have cautioned people that the newly detected variant of Covid 19 might be resistant to vaccines. This could mean that the current Covid 19 vaccines might be less effective against the virus.
The new variant, named B.1.1.529, is still very much an unknown factor and its effect on the fourth wave of Covid 19 is still unclear.
Gauteng has become the epicentre for the pandemic in South Africa with far more cases being reported in the province than anywhere else in the country.