The United Kingdom has irrationally decided to keep South Africa on its “red list” despite countries like the US, Germany and Mauritius moving to open their borders to vaccinated South Africans. This also allows their citizens to visit us, which is crucial for our struggling tourism sector, and economy. The reason? The UK says the Beta variant, which was first identified by scientists in South Africa in late 2020, is still dominant here and has the potential to “circumvent” vaccines.
As Professor Francois Venter, an expert in communicable diseases at Wits University, told the Financial Mail, this view is “insane… There is no scientific reason to be on the red list.”
The variant does not circumvent the vaccine, according to scientists. But most importantly, the Beta variant has been completely pushed out in recent months by the Delta variant, which is now the most prevalent strain in almost all countries, including both SA and the UK! The hypocrisy, you guys. 😭
According to Business Day, SA’s red list status means that SA travellers going to the UK must spend 10 days in quarantine at a personal cost of more than £2,000 (R40,500). Eek! 😓 Countries like Nigeria are better off than us despite less than 1% of their population being fully vaccinated, versus our 13%.
The department of tourism is on the case: SA scientists will soon provide further evidence to the UK. For now, the status quo stinks. 🙄