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Picture: 123RF/ROBUART
Picture: 123RF/ROBUART

I recently travelled to Turkey, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Bulgaria. At no point was I required to wear a mask, sanitise, fill any Covid-related forms, provide any proof of vaccination or do any tests. Nor did I have to have my temperature checked or have to distance myself from any other people. 

That is, until I landed back in Johannesburg. Suddenly we were not allowed to disembark from the aircraft unless we were distancing ourselves and wearing masks. This was also the first instance I was required to fill in a tracing form. Inside the terminal we were ushered by screaming staff through a port authority health check and requested without warning to present vaccination certificates.

No-one can justify these absurd requirements, which nobody else around the world seems to impose. We also know full well that no regulation has helped SA overcome the pandemic in any way, as every measure is grossly mismanaged by this country’s incompetent authorities. The only effect these regulations have is to put off any interested tourist or business person from visiting SA and they are redirecting them to friendlier and less mishandled destinations.

No wonder our outbound flight had no empty seats and the inbound one was only 40% full. While the world struggles to accommodate the huge post-Covid-19 travel wave, in SA we are closing down airlines and hotels. The remaining Covid-19 regulations must be cancelled immediately so our country can have a chance to recover and grow its economy.

Alexey Atanassov

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