South Africa Says UK Travel Ban Over COVID-19 Variant "Was Rushed"
South Africa has condemned the recent move by the United Kingdom to put the southern African country back on its travel red list.
Millions of people in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini on Friday woke up to the news that they have been temporarily barred from travelling to the UK after a new variant of the novel coronavirus was detected in South Africa and Botswana.
South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, on Friday, said the decision by the UK was rushed.
Pandor said she would engage with the UK government with the view to persuade them to reconsider the decision. She said:
Our immediate concern is the damage that this decision will cause to both the tourism industries and businesses of both countries.
Late on Thursday, the UK announced that a temporary ban on commercial and private planes travelling from the six southern African countries will come into force from Friday midday until 4 AM Sunday (28 November).