UK red list christmas

Newborn baby boy abandoned on flight to Mauritius. Photo: Canva

Red list reparations: DIRCO, De Oliveira want the UK to pay for damage to economy

‘The correct action would be to cover the costs of the damages to our economy imposed by the travel blockage.’

UK red list christmas

Newborn baby boy abandoned on flight to Mauritius. Photo: Canva

The United Kingdom (UK) removed South Africa and 10 other African countries from its international travel red list on Wednesday, 15 December after approximately two and a half weeks of travel bans. Professor Tulio de Oliveira welcomed the decision but felt that a mere reversal was not enough to make amends.

UK REVERSES BAN

De Oliveira played a significant role in the briefing that announced the detection of the Omicron variant in South Africa to the world and he has long been critical of the travel bans that have affected the country in the wake of that announcement – he even threatened a “science strike”, at one point.

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the travel bans on South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe were no longer needed because the Omicron variant is so widespread.

“Now that there is community transmission of Omicron in the UK and Omicron has spread so widely across the world, the travel red list is now less effective in slowing the incursion of Omicron from abroad,” said Javid to parliament.

“Whilst we will maintain our temporary testing measures for international travel we will be removing all 11 countries from the travel red list effective from 4am tomorrow morning.”

RED LIST REPARATIONS

De Oliveira thanked the UK for the decision to scrap the travel bans after the announcement was made on Tuesday but felt that the country deserved some sort of compensation for the effect the decision had on the local economy.

“The correct action would be to cover the costs of the damages to our economy imposed by the travel blockage.

“The world needs an arbitration system to deal with unfair actions that go against scientific transparency,” said the Professor.

The Department of International Relations’ (DIRCO) Clayson Monyela seconded de Oliveira’s call for reparations, saying, “Are you going to compensate us, because it has now been proven that the travel curb was wrong.”

DIRCO condemned the “unscientific” travel ban once again and said it had a “devastating impact on two-way business, travel and tourism industry and families.”

Last month, the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA), said the red list ban would cause the country to miss just under 500 000 in-bound tourists from the UK.