International travel

Image via: Adobe Stock

International travel: WC proposes alternatives to risk-based approach

Western Cape Minister David Maynier has slammed government for its risk-based approach to international travel.

International travel

Image via: Adobe Stock

On Wednesday 30 September, government announced a lengthy list of “banned” countries under Level 1 lockdown. Various ministers took the podium saying that those countries were considered as “high-risk” for international travel based on World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. It further stipulated that the remainder of countries would be classified as medium-risk or low-risk. Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier, however, has slammed government for its risk-based approach saying that it would only do harm to the tourism and hospitality sectors.

The government’s rules, however, only apply to inbound visitors. Therefore, the international travel list does not stop South Africans from going to one of the countries in the high-risk category. 


Maynier said the tourism and hospitality sector’s survival is dependent on international leisure travellers in the summer season and for this reason, it is critical that government look at “smart ways” to open international borders, especially for our key source markets, so that jobs can be saved in the Western Cape.

“And so, we will be engaging with national government and preparing a further submission proposing an alternative to the risk-based approach for international travel,” said Maynier. 

Maynier said it makes little sense to exclude leisure travellers in this way.

“Indeed, it is unfair to restrict leisure travellers from high-risk countries as there is simply no greater risk of transmission based on the purpose of travel,” he said. 


Maynier said South Africa’s airlines, hospitality and tourism companies have shown that travel and tourism can resume safely and, with stringent health and safety systems in place and, therefore, it should not be necessary to impose additional country-based travel restrictions.

“We are also concerned that the two-week review period of the leisure ‘no-travel list’, together with the requirement that business travellers from high-risk countries email the Department of Home Affairs for permission to travel, will create a barrier to bookings from visitors in traditional key source markets during the critical summer season,” said Maynier. 

Maynier many engagements with the tourism industry have been held on implementing health and safety guidelines in preparation for international travel. 

“We are open and we are ready to safely welcome travellers from around the world to experience our world-class and affordable experiences in Cape Town and the Western Cape,” he added.