Germany has banned flights from South Africa with immediate effect following the weekend announcement that the African country is experiencing a more potent coronavirus variant, APA learnt on Monday.According to the German government, South Africa has joined Britain in having its flights banned from landing in that country as Berlin worked out new travel rules following the two countries’ announcements that there was a new Covid-19 variant which is 70 percent more potent in its transmission.
The ban comes as the airline and tourism industries in South Africa had raised concern over the banning of some flights across the globe, a development which has financially affected them severely.
“Remember that airlines are a two-way operation. This will slow the recovery of the aviation industry and international tourism to South Africa,” travel editor Guy Leitch said.
“So, if there are no South Africans travelling to Germany, that means there will be no flights to bring German tourists to South Africa, which will further hit the recovery of international tourism to South Africa,” Leitch said.
Director of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Research Innovation Platform, Tulio De Oliviera confirmed at the weekend that the new variant of the coronavirus was spreading rapidly in South Africa.
The new lineage of the coronavirus, which has a lot of mutations or changes in its genetic material, was dominating new infections in South Africa, especially among the country’s youth, he said.
The South African government has yet to react Berlin’s actions.