JOHANNESBURG – After mounting political pressure from the South African government and business the British are reversing the flight ban they had earlier imposed.
The SA government had expressed dismay at the decision to ban flights not only from South Africa but the majority of countries in Southern Africa.
This had been necessitated by the discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Incidentally the discovery was made in Botswana.
Interestingly the four people that tested positive to the Omicron variant were reportedly foreign diplomats visiting Botswana.
“The new virus was detected on four foreign nationals who had entered Botswana on the 7th November 2021, on a diplomatic mission,” said Botswana in a statement. The four diplomats tested positive for COVID-19 on November 11 as they were leaving, and genomic sequencing confirmed the variant on November 24. A statement from the Botswana government read.
South Africa questioned why international countries had labelled the Omicron variant a South African strand of Covid?
Questions were also asked as to why the European nations lead by Britain had begun tightening their borders after news of a new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, which was falsely reported to have originated in SA.
President Ramaphosa lead the pressure to have the travel ban lifted, sighting that isolating African countries was vaccine inequality wake up call.
Following the efforts of president Ramaphosa and the business community to lift the flight bans from South Africa, flights to the UK will resume next week.
According to information received from the UK High Commission that Report Focus has seen, British Airways will resume direct flights to SA from Tuesday.
JUST IN: Dep of International Relations says info received from the UK in SA, British Airways will resume direct flights to SA from Tuesday, 30 Nov with the first flight to London on Wednesday.
One daily flight to CPT & OR Tambo.
1 daily flight to Cape Town & ORTIA. #eNCA
— Heidi Giokos (@HeidiGiokos) November 28, 2021
The airline will provide one daily flight to Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Virgin Airlines will also continue flying three times a week into South Africa.