South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has criticized the travel restrictions of numerous states against the countries of southern Africa as unjustified. “These restrictions are unfair discrimination against our country and our sister states,” said Ramaphosa in a televised address on Sunday evening. It is a clear departure from the declaration made at the G20 summit in Rome to help underdeveloped states cope with the impact of the pandemic on their economies.
The restrictions only add to the damage that the economies of southern Africa have already suffered, particularly in tourism, said Ramaphosa, appealing to those states that have adopted travel restrictions to reconsider their decision “before they do more damage.” Instead, they should help poorer countries produce vaccines.
Experience shows that travel is safe if there is a vaccination, negative PCR tests before flights and wearing mouth and nose masks on airplanes. There is no scientific basis for travel restrictions, Ramaphosa said. “They will only continue to harm the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to and recover from the pandemic.”
In addition to other countries, the federal government had drastically restricted entry from eight countries in southern Africa after the discovery of the new Omikron variant. South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi and Lesotho have been classified as virus variant areas since Sunday. Airlines are essentially only allowed to carry German citizens or people living in Germany from there to Germany. (dpa)
Source From: Tagesspiegel