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Department of Tourism: Best and Worst Case Scenarios for When South Africa Will Reopen for Tourists

The Department of Tourism has published a new draft recovery plan, outlining the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and how the tourism industry is likely to be impacted over the coming year.

The document is a detailed breakdown of international and local projections for when tourism will likely open up, using modelling that takes into account various infection patterns and recovery scenarios.

South Africa’s projections are predicated on international trends, which modelling shows is likely to open up for travel in a wide window of between August 2020 and May 2021.

Depending on the local spread of Covid-19 and recovery scenarios, South Africa’s tourism could start opening up as early as August 2020 in the best-case scenario, the department said – but in the worst-case, the industry could remain shut until well into 2021.


International travel

The policy document notes that the reopening of international tourism and the country borders will not only be dependent on South Africa’s coronavirus response, but also 44 primary source markets which drive international tourism to the country.

To help model when these countries are likely to reopen, pandemic data for individual countries was sourced and manipulated to obtain the pandemic duration, maximum number of deaths per day, date of peak daily mortality and days since peak daily mortality.

Date of peak daily mortality and peak value had to be determined for each country, and if a country had not yet reached its peak, these were estimated either by extrapolation or by setting a peak number and peak factor.

A linear recovery equation was found for three benchmark countries: South Korea (plateau), China (steep) and the United States (very steep). Gradients and limitations were adjusted to apply more optimistic or pessimistic assumptions and develop alternative scenarios.

Lastly, using China as a benchmark, where it took 60 days to open partially and a further 30 days for full domestic opening, the Oxford Lockdown Stringency Index (LSI) was used to approximate the number of days it would take from the point of recording zero daily deaths to full opening per source country.

Using this data, the department forecasts a global tourism re-opening between August 2020 and early 2021.

“This scenario assumes that the general observed recovery trajectory persists and that progress towards enhanced treatments for Covid-19 by the end of 2020 continue, with an accessible vaccine coming to market by the end of 2021,” the department said.

“Since indications of international border re-openings remain speculative at the time of writing, these dates represent the earliest likely date at which international travel will resume.”

The below model shows the estimated travel periods for South Africa’s primary ‘source countries’  for tourism.

  • The model is set between August 2020 and May 2021;
  • For domestic travel (travel within the respective country), the opening window is set between August 2020 and mid-February 2021;
  • For international travel (to and from the respective country), the opening window is set between November 2020 and May 2021.

Localised and global reinfection 

While the above model provides a positive picture globally, the risk of localised or global reinfection waves continue to threaten the global economic recovery and the strength and consistency of projected recoveries therefore come with low levels of certainty.

“As countries begin the process of re-opening, there remains a strong likelihood that trajectories out of lockdown conditions will prove far more fragile than hoped and that contagion risk in neighbouring countries or regions will force many nations to remain closed off from the world well into 2021,” the department said.

For this reason, the department provided two further global scenarios:

  • A more fragile recovery that contains isolated setbacks and takes longer, but still reflects an extension of the current global trajectory;
  • prolonged pandemic where the search for a vaccine proves elusive, herd immunity does not successfully contain transmission and multiple re-infection waves result.

Under the first of these scenarios, the timeframe for early Asian/Australasian re-opening moves from July/August 2020 to November 2020, while core markets (the UK, Germany and the US) can only be expected to return after April 2021.

The second scenario paints an even bleaker picture, with international outbound travel from Asia picking up between May and July 2021 and travel from core markets only returning from November 2021.

“In both of the more pessimistic scenarios, the 2020/21 summer season will be seriously affected, with even the following year’s peak months being under threat.

“This will have grave implications for supply-side survival. Given the modelling outputs and qualitative data emerging from the market, however, the stronger international recovery scenario remains the core outlook,” the department said.

It added that containment of the virus ultimately requires effective treatment and vaccine lead times will be a key indicator of the duration of the stabilisation phase.

This will inform visa policies and port of entry protocols as countries without sufficient herd immunity or access to treatment will seek to limit viral vectors, it said.

“In the interim, temporary and semi-permanent restrictions on traveller mobility are inevitable and unlikely to be standardised across markets.

“Measures such as immunity certification, pre- and post-travel quarantine and mandatory visitor tracking will reassure travellers but also impede the visitor experience”


South Africa

The document notes that South Africa’s pandemic curve thus far resembles the ‘plateau’ shape of countries such as South Korea, Australia and Singapore more than it does the ‘exponential growth’ experience of China, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The implication is therefore that, having successfully ‘flattened the curve’ to prevent health services from being overwhelmed, the country now faces a more prolonged, but less acute battle against the pandemic, the department said.

Using the above model it used for foreign countries, it produced the three following scenarios for South Africa:

  • strong recovery scenario where South Africa is able to contemplate re-opening in August;
  • A fragile recovery scenario, where the horizon shifts out to November 2020;
  • low-road, prolonged crisis scenario where the pandemic rages well into 2021.

Citing data from the South African Covid-19 modelling consortium, the department said that the country is on track for a ‘middle-road recovery’.

Under this outlook, South Africa recovers slower than many other parts of the world but does not lag far behind key source markets in Europe and North America.

“It is therefore likely that tourism recovery will experience a number of phases, from hyper-local community attractions, through broader domestic tourism, followed potentially by regional land and air markets, and then the resumption of world-wide international travel,” the department said.

“The implementation of the government’s risk-adjusted strategy is based on sector-level risk assessments that consider transmission risk across a number of dimensions, including; age of workforce, remote working potential, ability to enforce health and safety regulations and travel considerations of employees.”

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Home Affairs Umgeni Staff Commended

This letter was written by D Boardwin, and sent to Berea Mail.

My passport expired on 19 June and I had to renew both my partner’s and mine simultaneously.

After having read so many negative comments about Home Affairs I was pretty apprehensive about going through the process and this is where my whole perception of Home Affairs changed.We visited the Home Affairs in Umgeni Road on Tuesday, 13 August at 8.30am and by 10.30am we were out with the 100 others before us. This they achieved notwithstanding being short of one camera,which is the most time consuming part of the process. The staff were very courteous and very organised and efficient.

The only negative comment I have to make is in respect of some people who sat in the queue of seats just moaning every step of the way – of the 100 or so there were four or five at the most who just couldn’t handle sharing the queue with anyone else. I guessed that this small minority were spoilt in the past (prior 1994) and that should explain everything.

On Monday, 19 August, four working days after I applied, I received an SMS informing me that the passports were ready for collection. At 11.45am we entered the Home Affairs Collections Division and by 12pm we were back in our car.

Need I say more – I believe that South Africans must accept that things have changed and its time for them to change with the times.

Home Affairs Umgeni Offices have my vote of confidence. We need to be more supportive and positive. Churchill once said that “if you nothing good to say, then don’t say anything.”

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Beautiful South Africa – the expat’s guide:

Location: Africa
Capital City: Pretoria
Other Important Cities: Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Durban
Currency: South African rand
Language: Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikáans, English, Twsana, Sotho (Southern), Swati, South Ndebele
Calling Code: +27
Internet TLD: +.za
Emergency Numbers:    10111 / 112
Electricity: 220/230V 50Hz

South Africa is one of the most beautiful places that you can live in. The cost of living is comparatively low, the climate is pretty much perfect and there is so much to do in the country that going overseas for holidays is almost unnecessary. The crime rate in South Africa is very high when compared to other countries and expats moving there will have to adjust to the very particular way of life.


Work Permits
Work permits are issued only to foreigners where South African citizens with the relevant skills are not available for appointment. These permits are open-ended and applications must be made at any regional office of the Department of Home Affairs or nearest South African embassy, mission or consulate abroad.


International Schools

Expats in South Africa have a few choices with regards to the schools where they will send their children. In South Africa two types of schools exist, public and private. Public schools are the most cost effective form of education and follow the South African IB curriculm. There are four terms in a school year.
South African private schools also include international schools. Most private schools follow a three term calendar and are more adept to international standards. Many private schools will have ties with international schools and students will come out with two certificates at the end of the school year. Expats prefer to send their children to private and international schools in South Africa.


Expat Clubs


Johannesburg Expats

International Women’s Club Johannesburg
An organization which offers the hand of friendship, networking, socializing and support to newcomers and expats living in Gauteng South Africa
Facebook: www.facebook.com//pages/International-Womens-Club-Johannesburg/506561946049971
Website: www.iwcjoburgsa.co.za

Cape Town Expats

Irish South African Association
The Irish South African Association exists to facilitate social contact between Irish people, people of Irish descent and anyone who has any interest whatsoever in the Irish & in Ireland. All are welcome to join the Association & to attend our many functions held throughout the year.
Website:  www.ireland.co.za

Italian Club Cape Town
Celebrate Italian Culture, Italian food and being Italian. With cultural events held annually we hope to preserve our heritage, which has been passed down from generation to Generation. Through the involvement of our youth, the revitalisation of our sporting facilities, and the intergration of non italian members, we aim to engrain the future of our club for our members for years to come
Website: www.icct.co.za


International Schools

Expats in South Africa have a few choices with regards to the schools where they will send their children. In South Africa two types of schools exist, public and private. Public schools are the most cost effective form of education and follow the South African IB curriculm. There are four terms in a school year.
South African private schools also include international schools. Most private schools follow a three term calendar and are more adept to international standards. Many private schools will have ties with international schools and students will come out with two certificates at the end of the school year. Expats prefer to send their children to private and international schools in South Africa.

Johannesburg Schools

American International School of Johannesburg
In 2012, AISJ celebrated its 30th anniversary. In a relatively short time, we have moved from small and humble beginnings to a vibrant American International School that prides itself on maintaining a low student/teacher ratio to effectively run a student-centered program culminating in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. It places a strong emphasis on diversity, community outreach and links with its local community while focusing on a balanced program of academics, athletics, arts, and service. AISJ is developing an outstanding international reputation for innovative learning and community outreach.
Curriculum: IB
Tel: +27 (11) 464 1505
Email: info@aisj-jhb.com
Website: www.aisj-jhb.com

British International College
We offer superb tuition towards internationally recognized Cambridge qualifications. Through the ‘University of Cambridge International Examinations we offer students a complete set of qualifications via our A Level, AS level, IGCSE and Foundation courses in order to obtain a school leaving certificate that is recognized by prestigious universities throughout the world.
Curriculum: IGCSE and A-Levels
Address: 130, Bryanston Drive, Bryanston
Tel: +27 11 706-7775
Fax: +27 11 706-7829
Email : info@bicollege.co.za
Website: www.bicollege.co.za

Cape Town Schools

American International School of Cape Town
AISCT is endorsed as an independent school by the Western Cape Department of Education and is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges based in California, USA. AISCT is also a proud member of the Association of International Schools in Africa and the International School Foundation. AISCT administers the ACER International Schools Assessment each February. This exam helps guide school improvement and monitors our students’ progress against other international schools around the world.
Address: 42 Soetvlei Avenue, Constantia 7806
Tel: (27) 21 713-2220
Fax: (27) 21 713-2240
Email: aisct@aisct.org
Website: www.aisct.org

International School of Cape Town
A British education emphasises the development of the whole student, and particularly at the primary level there is a great deal of scope for creativity and individuality in the classroom. When all of this is considered alongside the continuity and transferability offered by a British education around the world, and the fact that British institutions offer qualifications that are recognised internationally, it is little wonder that the industry of British schools abroad continues to flourish and expand.
Address: Woodland Heights, Edinburgh Close, Wynberg 7806, Cape Town
Telephone: +27 (0) 21 761 6202
Fax: +27 (0) 21 761 0129
Email: l.padua@isct.co.za
Website: isct.co.za

For more information contact us