- The World Health Organization has called on countries who imposed travel bans on southern African countries to rescind the restrictions
- Restrictions were placed on several countries following the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant called Omicron
- The Western Cape's tourism sector and economy will be severely impacted if these travel bans remain in place
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CAPE TOWN - Matshidiso Moeti, the regional director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Africa, has encouraged countries to rescind their travel bans on southern African countries following the announcement of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Moeti believes that, while travel bans can curb the spread of a variant, they can negatively impact economies and lives in areas that are already struggling. He says the countries should rather champion scientific research and only act when there is more evidence.
"If restrictions are implemented, they should not be unnecessarily invasive or intrusive, and should be scientifically based," Moeti said.
How travel bans affect tourism economies
There are concerns regarding how contagious the new variant may be, which has resulted in many countries which had relaxed their Covid-19 protocols to reinstate measures such as mask mandates and not allowing travellers who have recently visited certain countries to enter, News24 reports.
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These travel bans are predicted to have a severe impact on the Western Cape's economy in particular, as the province relies on tourists over the festive season. According to IOL, the province has not yet reported any cases of the Omicron variant.
With inter-provincial travel still in place, the Western Cape's tourism sector is hopeful that South Africans will support the province by going on holiday there over December. The sector is still in economic recovery from previous lockdowns and cannot sustain another festive period with little to no income.
South Africans react to WHO's suggestion to end travel bans
"May Africa not make the mistake of red flagging one another."
"What "science"? Where is this science on secondary and long-term effects? The science I understand is that fully vaccinated people are still getting infected with variants and transmitting without symptoms."
"Considering the state of our border control, would it even matter?"
Mzansi responds to Ramaphosa’s decision to make vaccines compulsory
Yesterday, Briefly News reported that social media users took to the internet following President Cyril Ramaphosa's speech to react to the news that soon Covid-19 vaccines would be made compulsory.
Throughout the day people have been trying to guess what Ramaphosa would announce at the latest 'Family Meeting'. Most people thought that stricter Covid 19 restrictions would be brought into effect.
However, the news of compulsory vaccines took some people by surprise and made others very angry.
Source: Briefly News