Direct flights to the UK to resume next week

Direct flights to the UK to resume next week

Rustenburg – Direct flights between South Africa and the United Kingdom (UK) will resume next week, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation said on Sunday.

Spokesperson Clayson Monyela said British Airways would resume direct flights to South Africa from Tuesday, with the first flight to London on Wednesday.

“It will be one daily flight to Cape Town and OR Tambo International Airport [ORTIA], Virgin flies three times a week into ORTIA. They have not stopped theirs,” Monyela said in a tweet.

Entry will remain restricted to UK/Irish nationals, according to the UK High Commission in South Africa, and individuals with resident rights will be required to undergo a 10-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel.

Following the discovery of a new Covid-19 version known as Omicron in Botswana and then South Africa, the United Kingdom (UK) placed a travel ban on South Africa and five other southern African nations with effect from November 26.

Botswana, Lesotho, eSwatini, Zimbabwe, and Namibia were all on the UK’s blacklist.

The Omicron strain was discovered on four foreign people who arrived in Botswana on a diplomatic assignment on November 7. On November 11, as they were about to return, they tested positive for Covid-19.

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Dr. Edwin Dikoloti, Botswana’s Health Minister, stated the government has now reported 15 more Omicron variant cases, bringing the total to 19.

One of the cases was a South African who was visiting family in the nation.

In a televised national address on Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was deeply disappointed in the reaction to SA regarding the Omicron variant

He said there was no scientific justification for keeping imposing restriction on South Africa.

“The emergence of the Omicron variant should be a wake-up call to the world that vaccine inequality cannot be allowed to continue.

“We have said that vaccine inequality not only costs lives and livelihoods in those countries that are denied access, but that it also threatens global efforts to overcome the pandemic,” Ramaphosa said.

He added that the restrictions were unjustified and unfairly discriminated against South Africa and southern African countries.

“The prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant.

“We call upon all those countries that have imposed travel bans on our country and our southern African sister countries to urgently reverse their decisions and lift the bans they have imposed before any further damage is done to our economies.”

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