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Following the detection of a new Covid-19 variant — called B.1.1.529 — South Africa has once again seen widespread travel bans reinstituted against the country.

Otto De Vries, CEO of the Association Of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata), joined The Flash Drive with Carl Wastie to speak about the implications of these travel bans that intending travellers need to be aware of.

Britain, as a precaution, suspended all commercialflights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Germany, Italy and Singapore soon followed suit.

They announced it quite late last night... For many of us, we were caught completely off guard and we were only really alerted to it this morning.

Otto De Vries, CEO of the Association Of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata)

Where we are right now is that if you manage to get into the UK by this morning, you were basically expected to self-quarantine. And you are able to maintain the policy of self-quarantining as long as you get into the UK by no late than 4am on Sunday morning,

Otto De Vries, CEO of the Association Of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata)

Thereafter... travelling to the UK, you'll be required to once again quarantine in one of the predetermined quarantine hotels that are being set up.

Otto De Vries, CEO of the Association Of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata)

What happens if you have a ticket to the United Kingdom?

My comment to people out there who have got reservations, just give us and give the scientists a couple of days and hopefully, we're going to get a lot more details with regards to how long this temporary suspension is going to last.

Otto De Vries, CEO of the Association Of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata)

If however, you were planning to travel in the next couple of days and depending on who you are flying with, you are going to need to either contact your travel agent and make arrangements for rebooking or if you booked directly, you need to contact the airline...

Otto De Vries, CEO of the Association Of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata)

We've seen the airlines already making clear decisions with regards to how long they will terminate their services.... that could change overnight depending on the information we're all waiting on.

Otto De Vries, CEO of the Association Of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata)

For more insight on the travel bans, listen to Carl Wastie's full conversation with Otto De Vries in the audio clip below.

Catch The Flash Drive with Carl Wastie, every week day from 3-7pm on Kfm 94.5

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