SA’s Covid-19 downward trend could reopen of international travel

CAPE TOWN- The easing of lockdown restrictions in alert level 2 has allowed the domestic tourism sector to resume operations and with the downward trend in Covid-19 cases, it could open up the possibility for international travel “sooner than expected”. 

Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane spoke at the media launch which marked the start of a series of tourism events that will happen during the month of September, culminating with the celebration of the World Tourism Day on the September 27. The 2020 theme for Tourism Month is Tourism and rural development.

“Our next step is to work towards the reopening of international travel. With the risk of the virus spread on a downward trend, we are hopeful that the opening of our borders will happen sooner than we are expecting. Again, I need to emphasise that the level of risk, as assessed by the experts, will be determinant of when this will happen,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.


Head of the ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, said that all of the country’s provinces have seen an overall downward trend.

“We’d like to see us get to a point where we are below a thousand cases per day. We’re still at the high end, roughly between three and four thousand cases per day but that downward trend – if it holds – will enable us to get to the kind of level we need to get to,” he said.

Before the border reopen, Kubayi-Ngubane urged South Africans to travel locally and enjoy the diverse tourist attractions.

“During this Tourism Month, we will be driving our domestic tourism campaign aimed at getting South Africans to travel and explore the splendour of their country responsibly, under the guidance of the health and safety protocols,” she said.

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