Chaos ensues as countries threaten to close borders to South Africa

Posted by Ashna Brijmohun on 26 November 2021

Masses of passengers are being left in a state of confusion at various airports as flights continue to be cancelled and planes remain grounded. With the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant, it appears that harsh travel restrictions will be implemented for South African tourists.

The new Covid-19 strain which scientists identified in the southern African region is causing widespread panic across the globe. Many countries have already implemented travel restrictions on South Africa by closing their borders to the country and its people entirely. It appears that their decisions are prompting other nations to follow suit, causing congestion and confusion in various airports around the globe.

Passengers waiting in an airport terminal for PCR results. Picture: Supplied

Passengers at airports are having their flights delayed or cancelled as countries race to close their borders. A source reported that passengers arriving in the Netherlands were told that they were not allowed to disembark because the Netherlands had closed their borders to South Africa. The passengers were then instructed to disembark from their flight so that they can be transported to a nearby testing facility where they would undergo additional PCR tests. The passengers had been instructed to not exit the plane until their results are delivered, despite already enduring a gruelling 3.5-hour wait. The passengers were eventually escorted to an empty terminal where they were told to wait until their PCR results were ready.

Passengers waiting for their flights. Picture: Debbie Hathaway

Many South African flights to Mauritius have also been cancelled or delayed due to speculation that the country will close its borders on Monday the 29th of November 2021 for a period of up to three months. According to journalist Debbie Hathaway, the airport staff authorised citizens and residents of Mauritius to board the flight as well as passengers who would be returning to South Africa before the 29th of November. All other passengers were either advised to cancel their flights or if they chose to pursue their flight to Mauritius they would be obligated to sign an indemnity form. This form would supposedly hold passengers liable for any additional costs that might occur if the border to Mauritius closes.

According to Hathaway, the Health Minister of Mauritius will be making an announcement this afternoon to address rumours of the country’s updated Covid-19 restrictions. South African’s will be waiting patiently to hear how travel, both inbound and outbound will be affected.

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