South Africa stated last Wednesday that it has lifted all COVID-19 limitations, deciding it had fulfilled its purpose. The most recent amendments include the elimination of the indoor mask-wearing rule, limitations on gatherings and border inspections for COVID-19, and the requirement to get vaccinated to enter South Africa.
“Abolishing the mask-wearing mandate and eliminating all restrictions on gatherings and port of entry vaccination requirements is a step in the right direction and will significantly benefit the entire tourism sector value chain”, said South African Tourism. “As custodians of tourism, we believe that the end of the restrictions is the tonic the sector needs to accelerate the rebound to pre-pandemic tourist arrival numbers and profitability levels,”.
These changes imply that people in the nation may now offer additional experiences and activities to visitors from all around the world. It also implies that the burden that has been placed on corporate gatherings, live social events, and exhibits over the last two years will be lifted.
The return of dignitaries and industry professionals from all over the world to two flagship trade events earlier this year—Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba—demonstrates that tourists and business event participants want to visit South Africa. This step should pave the way for the sector’s recovery initiatives after 26 months of poor performance owing to the pandemic and its impacts.
Tourism is identified as a catalyst for the economy’s revival in South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, and as such, tourism is one of the major interventions for rebooting the country’s economy in the economic recovery plans. Travel and tourism supplied 1.5 million employments and 425.8 billion runs to the economy two years before the pandemic, accounting for 8.6 percent of total economic activity in the country.