JOHANNESBURG, 22 MARCH 2022 – The Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) welcomes the announcement yesterday by President Cyril Ramaphosa scrapping the PCR test requirement for travellers entering South Africa from Wednesday 23 March 2022. Travellers may now instead present proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR test result if they are partially or non-vaccinated.
“We have been waiting for this announcement for a long time and are delighted that now fully vaccinated South Africans returning from their leisure or business travel overseas and international visitors to our country no longer need to present PCR tests at the port of entry,” says Euan McNeil, Managing Director, Flight Centre Travel Group South Africa. “The news comes just in time for the Easter holidays which bodes well for the popular holiday period.”
“Although we have seen fantastic growth in booking numbers and enquiries since last year, showing the resilience of South African travellers and the pent up demand for travel, costly PCR tests were still a frustration and additional paperwork for travellers, adding to the complexities of travel. Countries around the world scrapped the need for negative PCR tests for fully vaccinated travellers and have reaped the tourism benefits. We are confident that easing travel restrictions and COVID regulations will boost the travel industry and economy, fuelling the increase in business travel and creating more demand for leisure travel, locally, regionally and abroad.”
Oz Desai, GM of Corporate Traveller, one of Flight Centre's business travel brands, agrees. "Business travel has been on a slower recovery or trajectory to leisure travel, and the PCR requirement for vaccinated travellers an undeniable barrier. Now that the final barriers are beginning to fall, we anticipate a rise in business bookings as travel becomes altogether simpler and more enjoyable."
“We are ready to welcome back visitors to our beautiful country,” concludes McNeil. “And for South Africans to enjoy more hassle-free travel after the incredible complexities of the last two years.”