Despite Covid-19 threat, calls mount for international borders to reopen in SA

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Calls are mounting for the South African government to reopen the country’s international borders after more than R68bn has been lost since the start of the lockdown. | SaturdayStar

Calls are mounting for the South African government to reopen the country’s international borders after more than R68bn has been lost since the start of the lockdown.

It is also believed that more than R68 billion in tourism spend has been lost since the lockdown began, with The Bureau of Economic Research estimating that if South Africa does not reopen its borders by the end of 2020, some 1.15 million jobs will be lost. “Let’s have a battle of how can we gain confidence and trust from the international and domestic market instead of having a battle of when we are going to fully open our borders.”

But while SA Tourism said they were satisfied with the health and safety protocols in place to protect tourists and tourism employees from contracting Covid-19, they believed that the world might not yet be ready to travel on a regular basis. “South Africa is also looking at all the countries around the world and assessing that risk they could potentially impose on the country as well, because we should be careful not to import the virus back into the country.”

All parties agreed that allowing inter-provincial travel under level two of lockdown regulations has come as a saving grace to the struggling tourism industry. Tshivhengwa added that while domestic travel generated much-needed income for the country at large, it could not exist without international tourism, whose spending power reached further than just the tourism industry.

Source: Holiday News (holidaynews.net)

 

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