South Africa faced entry bans and severe travel restrictions from several countries, including the US, for most of the last year. The announcement of the discovery of the Beta variant of the coronavirus in South Africa late last year did little to improve the increased isolation of the country.
The US which had imposed a complete ban on South Africa for many months finally moved South Africa to a level 3 rating on its Travel Advisory at the start of June, ahead of US carrier United Airlines’ inaugural flight on the New York Johannesburg route.
The move led to increased optimism that the easing of restrictions would see the return of American tourists to South Africa once more.
US PUTS SA ON LEVEL 4 TRAVEL ADVISORY
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just issued stricter travel recommendations to various destinations.
South Africa alongside other nations, including Botswana, the Republic of the Congo, Malawi and Rwanda, are now placed on the US level 4 Travel Advisory.
Even vaccinated travellers considered to be at risk
The move to level 4 means that US travellers are advised against travelling to South Africa and that anyone who does need to travel here, should be fully vaccinated.
Because of the current situation in South Africa, the CDC warns that even fully vaccinated travellers are said to be at risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.
Image : https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/south-africa
IMPACT ON SA TOURISM
This move will come as another blow for South Africa’s struggling tourism sector which is battling under the revised Lockdown Level 4 restrictions that prevent non-essential travel and ban movement into and out of Gauteng.
The sector was starting to see shoots of recovery with the arrival of more American visitors to the country. The launch of daily direct flights between New York and Johannesburg last month was a sign of hope for South Africa’s tourism and hospitality sector.
Delta Airlines Johannesburg flights
The announcement that Delta Airlines would be starting up direct flights to Johannesburg next month also gave hope that South Africa would begin to see the return of US travellers in large numbers.
The latest development dashes these hopes of American visitors returning to salvage South Africa’s embattled tourism sector.
Originally Appeared On: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/travel/south-africa-america-us-ban-level-4-travel-advisory-delta-airlines-latest/