The issue, said Fedhasa, lies in that many countries do not offer vaccinations to children between five and 12 years, and neither does SA.
“This means even if parents are fully vaccinated, a family with children aged between five and 12 years has no choice but to pay for PCR tests, which we know in certain countries like the UK is not only onerous to obtain, but also expensive,” said Anderson.
In the UK, one of SA's largest source markets, it can cost as much as £150 (about R3,000) for a PCR test issued within 12 hours because clinics are only located in major centres.
“So unless you live in a major centre, a family wanting to travel to SA has to leave home a day early and incur the additional cost of a night in a hotel and then bear the additional worry that their travel plans will be derailed entirely if their child tests positive. This doesn’t make sense when SA’s regulations state that if you are Covid positive, yet asymptomatic, there is no need to self-isolate.”