The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued stricter travel recommendations for South Africa in what will be another blow for the ailing travel industry.
In a note this week, the CDC said that it had added South Africa to its ‘do not travel list’ alongside other nations including Botswana, the Republic of the Congo, Malawi and Rwanda.
The move to level 4 means that travellers have been advised against all travel to South Africa and that anyone who does travel should be fully vaccinated.
However, because of the current situation in South Africa, even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19 variants, the CDC warned.
While South Africa has faced travel restrictions for much of the last year, the US gave the country a level 3 rating at the start of June.
Level 3 suggests that tourists ‘reconsider travel’ but does not actively advise against it.
The CDC’s recommendations have subsequently been adopted by the US state department which has acknowledged the higher rating for the country and its addition to the ‘no travel list’.
A mapping tool developed by travel website Skyscanner shows that as of 7 July, South Africa has 84 ‘major restrictions’ from other countries in place.
These countries have suspended travel, may be closed to entry, or entry may only be possible if you are a citizen/meet strict entrance requirements.
By comparison, there are currently 28 moderate restrictions in place on South Africa, where travel is possible, but only if travellers meet certain entry requirements which can include taking Covid-19 tests.
In a report published this week, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) said that the world is unlikely to reach pre-Covid-19 international tourist arrival levels until 2023 or later.
The group singled out South Africa in particular due to its heavy reliance on tourism and slow vaccination rate.
As with South Africa’s opening of borders, countries that do allow travel for leisure and tourism purposes do not do so unconditionally and will require travellers to either submit recent negative Covid-19 tests or be subject to a mandatory quarantine period.