Due to the discovery and uncertainty surrounding the new variant of COVID-19 Omricron, Thailand has unfortunately suspended all travel from South Africa and seven other African countries including Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho , Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe since December 1, 2021.
Thailand suspends travel for South African tourists
“It is with great regret that we announce our decision to impose this ban,” said Chiravadee Khunsub, director of Thailand’s tourism authority, according to a statement.
“Persistent uncertainty around Omicron has resulted in travel being completely suspended for South African travelers and some African travelers until there is more clarity on the risks and transmission of the COVID-19 variant . “
Khunsub goes on to say that Thai authorities will continue to monitor the situation closely and revisit the mandate as more information on the new variant becomes available.
South Africa facing new restrictions
Thailand is one of the latest countries to suspend travel to and from South Africa due to the discovery of the Omicron variant.
On November 26, South Africa was again added to the UK’s Red List of Travel. The European Union and the United States are also among those who have imposed travel bans.
Also read: Plane tickets between UK and South Africa can now cost you up to R65,000
In a speech to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa said there was no scientific basis for the travel bans and South Africa was facing unfair discrimination.
No scientific basis for travel bans
He also argued that the bans would not be effective in preventing the spread of the variant.
“The only thing the travel ban will do will be further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to and recover from the pandemic,” he said.
He called on countries with bans in place to “urgently reverse their decisions … before further damage is done to our economies.”
Also read: Repatriation flights between UK and South Africa to resume
Ramaphosa said South Africa would not impose new restrictions, but “would undertake broad consultations to make vaccination mandatory for specific activities and locations.”