The United States has officially warned its citizens to avoid travelling to South Africa. Yep, it has!
Business Insider reported that the US Bureau of Consular Affairs has issued more than 200 revised travel advisories.
Most of these advisories, which are intended to inform US citizens of their relative safety when visiting foreign countries, have been ratcheted up to Level 4.
The US has updated its travel advisories which list about 80% of all countries.
As per the travel advisory, violent crime such as armed robbery, rape, carjacking, mugging and smash-and-grab attacks on vehicles is common in SA.
The SA Travel Advisory actually states “Do not travel to South Africa due to Covid-19. Exercise increased caution in South Africa due to crime, civil unrest, health and drought.”
Crime, protests cause concern
The advisory added that demonstrations, protests and strikes occur frequently.
“These can develop quickly without prior notification often interrupting traffic, transportation and other services; such events have the potential to turn violent,” the advisory warned.
Furthermore, it claims that the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape provinces are experiencing a severe drought.
Water supplies in some areas may be affected.
It said residential water-use restrictions are in place in Cape Town and other municipalities.
“If you decide to travel to South Africa, avoid walking alone especially after dark, avoid visiting informal settlement areas unless you are with someone familiar to the area, do not display cash or valuables, drive with doors locked and windows closed. Always carry a copy of your US passport and visa (if applicable) and keep original documents in a secure location,” the advisory warned.
Warning not limited to South Africa
One SA movement leader Mmusi Maimane slammed the advisory.
“America needs to respect us. No country is perfect but South Africa is still the best country to visit in Africa. We should issue our own travel advisory. Do not travel to America due to Covid19, police brutality, gang activity, crime, racism, political unrest, bad food,” he tweeted.
America needs to respect us.
No country is perfect but South Africa is still the best country to visit in Africa.
We should issue our own travel advisory.
Do not travel to America due to Covid19, police brutality, gang activity, crime, racism, political unrest, bad food. pic.twitter.com/NGSPhjAIL4
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) April 22, 2021
Business Insider reported that these warnings are not, however, limited to South Africa and similar advisories apply to other South American and African nations, some of which, like Zimbabwe, have avoided the move to Level 4.
It said most European countries, like France, Germany, and Denmark, which have recently been updated to the highest warning level, were previously marked as Level 2 – the same designation previously applied to South Africa – due to the threat of terrorism.
At least 34 countries were listed as Level 4 dangers prior to the recent advisory update.
In January, US President Joe Biden, imposed a travel ban on most non-US citizens entering the country who travelled to SA. At the time, it was in a bid to contain the spread of the 501Y.V2 variant, first detected in SA last year.
The recent travel advisory update relate to the coronavirus pandemic and coincides with the US’ ongoing travel ban that also prohibits travellers from China, Iran, the UK, Brazil, Ireland and the European Schengen area.
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