The “extraordinary measures” taken by the South African government on Sunday 15 March 2020 to “reduce the impact of coronavirus” will have significant results for South Africa’s inbound tourism private sector. This includes ourselves and our International agents.
The travel ban entails:
- Imposing travel bans effective 18 March 2020 to and from high-risk source markets, including South Korea, Italy, Iran, Spain, Germany, USA, UK and China.
- Travellers from medium-risk source markets – Portugal, Singapore and Hong Kong – to present themselves for high-intensity testing.
- Cancellation of visas granted to citizens from high-risk destinations.
- Any foreign national who visited a high-risk country will be denied a visa.
- Self-isolation for travellers who have come from high-risk destinations since mid-February 2020.
Please note that your clients who are already in our camps are not being affected by the visa cancellations. The government hasn’t cancelled the visas of clients already on courses. It seems as if it’s only impacting on new arrivals from the risk countries on the list. It might be a good time for clients in our camps, to extend their stay, and use this time to stay in the bush as an isolation measure.
Countries not on the travel ban list are still being allowed entry to South Africa. We do think that flight frequency both in and out of South Africa will be reduced. We will be ready to assist on a case-by-case basis, should flights not match our current departure or arrival dates as changes unfold. At this stage, none of South Africa’s airports will be closing down.
We are consolidating bookings and rerouting courses from Mashatu in Botswana to other camps in South Africa. This forms part of our commitment to minimize risk and contribute to resolving the current issue.
Despite this, EcoTraining remains committed to responding proactively and will do everything it can to safeguard travellers, customers and its staff at this uncertain time.
It’s important to note that we are ready to assist you and work with you to support your clients that are already in our camps, or those planning to travel to our camps.
We have implemented a proactive approach to move clients impacted over the next 30 days, and or provide them with suitable dates later in the year. They would thus not lose any funds paid, but rather have the option to move dates to options later in the year.