European countries are gradually opening their borders to travelers from South Africa after imposing a long ban due to the emergence of the beta variant of the Corona virus in the country.
Austria is the latest country to slightly loosen entry restrictions into South Africa, add it to the least epidemiologically risky countries and release fully vaccinated travelers from mandatory quarantine requirements, TheSchengen.com reports.
Fully vaccinated South Africans who have been vaccinated with a second dose of Pfizer or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine are exempt from quarantine requirements upon arrival in Austria.
The vaccination campaigns carried out around the world paved the way for international travel, if not for its full resumption, at least to allow it for compelling reasons. Recently, South African nationals were also allowed to travel to Germany, after the latter ended a seven-month travel ban.
Full vaccination against COVID-19 exempts travelers, both arriving and departing, from mandatory quarantine, which can last from five days to two weeks.
Although South Africa is experiencing its third wave of coronavirus infections, many Europeans have removed the country from their red lists. In addition to Austria and Germany, the most notable travel changes came from France, Switzerland, Finland and Spain, allowing fully vaccinated South Africans to enter.
However, the UK is not budging by maintaining a travel ban for South Africans, regardless of their vaccination status. This situation is causing great concern for the South African tourism industry, which was counting more visitors from the UK than any other European country before the pandemic.
The South African Tourism Services Association (Satsa) is urging that South Africa be removed from the UK’s red list, arguing, like other petitions, that the travel ban is not based on scientific evidence related to coronavirus variants.
Although European countries are easing their entry restrictions for travelers to South Africa, they do not receive the same generosity from the USA, which has imposed a travel ban on the 26-nation Schengen area since March 2020, despite it being complete. Open to vaccinated Americans.
As previously reported by TheSchengen.com, US borders remain closed to European arrivals and citizens, and airlines and travel organizations are pressing the US to lift the travel ban as soon as possible.
According to the data of the World Health Organization, South Africa recorded 299 deaths related to the Corona virus in the past 24 hours, while 7,983 people tested positive for the virus during the same time. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, South Africa, with a population of more than 58 million, has seen 7,744 deaths and 2,613,569 positive cases.