I’m sure you’re as frustrated as we are by the impact of COVID-19 on South African travellers. well, we spent some time researching this phenomenon and have put together the following list of five things you need to know when travelling abroad.
1. According to the World Health Organisation
On 18 December, national authorities in South Africa announced the detection of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 that was rapidly spreading in three provinces of South Africa.
2. Is the new variant more dangerous?
The WHO reported that “at this stage, there is no clear evidence of the new variant being associated with more severe disease or worse outcomes. Further investigations are needed to understand the impact on transmission, clinical severity of infection, laboratory diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, or public health preventive measures.”
3. Has the SA variant spread globally?
As of 30 December 2020, the 501Y.V2 variant (second variant) from South Africa has been reported in four other countries.
4. How severe is the impact of COVID-19 on South African travellers?
Travel to over 121 countries is restricted for South Africans according to Skyscanner.
The International Air Transport Association also reports that in absolute numbers, the region is expected to see around 45 million travelers in 2020 rising to 70 million travelers in 2021. A full return to 2019 levels (155 million travelers) is not expected until late 2023.