Calls for PCR Test Requirement to be Scrapped for Vaccinated Travellers to South Africa
Calls for PCR Test Requirement to be Scrapped for Vaccinated Travellers to South Africa. Photo: iStockPhoto

The voice of South Africa’s hospitality industry – FEDHASA – has issued a call to the SA government to remove the compulsory PCR test required for inbound international and returning South African travellers who are fully vaccinated.

Whilst welcoming last night’s announcement on the reduction in Covid-19 restrictions in South Africa (including isolation no longer being necessary for those without symptoms), FEDHASA urged the government to also remove the PCR requirement.

According to FEDHASA’s national chairperson, Rosemary Anderson, “the PCR test requirement is a deterrent to international travel and consequently the recovery of our tourism and hospitality sector.”

Anderson pointed out that “many other countries have already removed the requirement to furnish it if the traveller can prove that they have been fully vaccinated. While we have been grateful to our domestic travellers for their support throughout the pandemic, there are many tourism and hospitality companies in South Africa which depend heavily on inbound international travel.

“The removal of this requirement will go some way to making South Africa attractive to visit once again and in turn helping these companies rebuild, preserve jobs and contribute to the economy.”

Visas are also a deterrent to travelling to South Africa

Anderson said a further deterrent is the requirement for visas and that it’s time for South Africa to enhance its eVisa system.

“For many inbound traveller, obtaining a visa to visit South Africa is onerous and an impediment to travelling to South Africa. One must balance ease of access with the security needs of the country, and it is our fervent hope that a proper eVisa system, and visa waivers for important segments such as remote workers, are introduced as a matter of urgency.

“One of the biggest problems facing South Africa is our mass unemployment, particularly in the youth segment of our population. Tourism holds the key to catalytic growth and job creation, but for it to contribute as it can and should an enabling environment is required and a good start would be to tackle this PCR test requirement and our visa regime.”