TRAVEL ALLOWED AGAIN FOR SOUTH AFRICANS – BUT ONLY WITHIN
(Posted 15th August 2020)
The South African government has moved the country to level 2 of their multi level #COVID19 response, finally allowing travel between provinces again and also opening up other services which in the past were not permitted.
The move will become effective next Tuesday, 18th of August when South Africans will again be allowed to buy cigarettes and alcohol which prohibition had raised the political heat in South Africa and reportedly led to large scale rule breaking – rules being broken mainly when seen as irrational and illogical by the majority of people.
The country’s borders however remain closed unless for repatriation flights with special permits, cargo flights and humanitarian assistance flights and harbours only accept cargo and no passengers or crew.
South Africa has Africa’s highest caseload with numbers steadily moving towards the 600.000 mark and 11.556 casualties from the pandemic and yet has the government moved the country to Level 2 of a 5 level approach.
This is in stark contrast with for instance Uganda, where case numbers as of last night stood at 1.434 cases with 13 casualties but where the government seems to completely ignore the fact that almost the entire Eastern African region had restored scheduled passenger flights and opened their borders.
The tourism, hospitality and aviation fraternity is getting increasingly agitated over this irrational approach and for having their livelihood destroyed while select companies and individuals are allegedly profiteering from repatriation flights.
Among the expatriate community is the anger also growing that they are prohibited to visit their loved ones in their countries of origin while traffic resumed in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and especially Ethiopia where scheduled passenger air traffic NEVER STOPPED.
With cases, like everywhere else, now growing from within the community in for instance Kampala, is this seen as a sign of lack of discipline and enforcement of existing rules, like strict mask wearing and physical distancing, which creates a breeding ground for the pandemic to spread further, while so called ‘imports‘ have been largely brought under control.
Protocols are available for airport operations from ICAO with recommendations in place by IATA to resume air transport but it seems that a different agenda is at work here as seen regularly expressed on social media in Uganda.