By Kaya 959 Reporter
A team of UK and SA-based scientists are set to mull over data that could hopefully see SA’s removal off the UK’s Red List.
South Africa’s placement on the UK’s traffic light system for travellers has been a hot topic for months with travel between the countries having a massive impact on tourism business.
Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said she has spoken to the British Deputy High Commissioner to SA.
She said they have agreed to bring together scientists and advisors from both countries to conduct further research into the coronavirus beta variant that has so far created the perception that SA is a COVID-19 hotspot.
Sisulu made the comments while delivering her keynote address at Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit on Monday,
Sisulu said the British government believes the beta variant – which allegedly circumvents all vaccinations – is a South African variant.
“They are confusing the variant with South Africa because it was first detected here. But it does not mean it is a South African variant.
“We have agreed to have a joint team of scientists to advise the South African and British governments so they can get us out of the red and come with the right result,” she said.
US admits fully vaccinated travellers
As it stands, SA has a total of 2 884 134 confirmed cases with 62 578 active cases and 86 216 deaths.
Meanwhile, the United States is set to welcome back fully-vaccinated travellers from China, India, Britain and other European countries from November.
The White House on Monday said the travel restrictions had prevented thousands of foreigners from flying to the US for business and leisure.
The US had imposed strict travel bans on a number of countries.
According to Reuters, the US will admit fully vaccinated travellers from 26 Schengen countries in Europe including; France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Greece, as well as Britain, Ireland, China, India, SA, Iran and Brazil.
What will it take for South Africa’s vaccination programme to be recognized?
Kaya 959 recently spoke to Prof. Mosa Moshabela, Associate Professor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation (Acting) at UKZN, about the matter.