A proper mask must be worn throughout travel. No visors.
Since the international travel ban to South Africa was lifted, I have watched two canaries go into the coalmine. The first one didn’t make it.
The poor old bird remains stuck in the UK months after arriving on holiday, dreaming nostalgically of her home in utopian Benoni.
She was denied boarding at Heathrow despite having lived in South Africa all of her adult life, because she didn’t have now-mandatory travel insurance for entering South Africa.
The problem may have been that they didn’t recognise her as a bona fide Sefrican resident, since she travels on a foreign passport.
Either way, one canary down. The second canary – my son – flew the nest on Friday. (Yes, again.)
Parted from his fiancée by lockdown – he in Dublin, she in Cape Town – at last he could head south to be with her. Happily, my canary made it.
He landed on Saturday, waving his negative Covid-19 test, his South African passport, and a sheaf of just-in-case paperwork, and is now a lovebird in the shadow of Table Mountain.
The airports were eerily quiet, he says, the flights cheap, and the planes far from full. He had two free seats beside him, and the rows both in front and behind remained unoccupied.
Yes, it seems international travel is not dreadful right now – if they let you fly. In fact, a plane might even be the safest place to be.
However, there are caveats: first, the mandatory corona test to get into (or return to) South Africa.
It costs €180 in Dublin, which is basically South Africa’s minimum monthly wage.
It has to be performed within 72 hours of departure with a 48- hour turnaround, making flying earlier in the week problematic because Saturday tests cost more, and the laboratories are closed on Sundays.
Then when you get wherever you’re going, you may have to enter two weeks mandatory isolation, negative test or not.
Yes, there won’t be queues for attractions or restaurants, but also nothing might be open. Crucially, rules may change in a heartbeat: you might get stuck like my first canary.
Nonetheless, four more sleeps and I’m flying home too…
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