Travel made simple!-28Sep21
Good day fellow travellers!
I hope you are all keeping safe and well. Let’s jump straight into the latest news both locally and abroad and a bit of self indulgence 😉
Who’s opening up?
- It has just been confirmed that the Netherlands will be opening up their borders to South African’s! You will need a vaccine passport and have had one of the WHO vaccines which most likely is Pfizer or J&J. A 2nd shot of the Pfizer vaccine will need to have been done at least 14 days before departure and if it is the J&J it needs to be 28 days. No quarantine is required however unvaccinated people will need to quarantine for 10 days.
- The US will open its borders to Vaccinated South African travellers from November.
- The UK seems to be basing their continued ban on travellers to and from South Africa because of their concerns of so-called Beta variant however there seems to be little to no evidence of this variant. Hopefully it can be motivated by various stakeholders both in government and the private sector who are trying to educate the UK health authorities on this in order to change our status to green as soon as possible.
- Mauritius is opening next week which is a great step forward! Fly Safair will be flying twice a week, BA three times a week and Air Mauritius three times a week. It’s all good to go and you can check out our specials over here
And now for something completely different….
I’m going to stick my neck out a bit here and put down in writing thoughts and feelings both past and present.
The pandemic has always amazed me right from the start. When the shut down happened last year at the end of March, it left all of us bewildered suddenly experiencing something completely new and unknown but in amongst the fear and panic, I would sometimes try take the time to notice the good that was taking place not only in my house but also in the world around me. A weird kind of silence enveloped the world. A feeling you might get when on holiday or even on the weekend when things slow down. There was a stillness in the air, a resignation that nothing could be done but watch and wait. Something akin to when you travel somewhere remote and cannot get WIFI or mobile reception and therefore have to resign yourself to really letting things go. There was a knowing and understanding that everyone was under similar circumstances, there were no expectations of “getting things done” and my best chance of surviving this was just actually “being” present to history unfolding before my eyes. Time was spent with kids and family cooking, camping in the garden, running around the house, birthdays and the start of online communications. A new way of living. I would sometimes scroll through various social media channels to see what the rest of the world was up to and for the very first time, probably in history, EVERYONE was in the same boat as me. At home! There was a strange sense of unity and the world suddenly felt smaller and I felt closer to everyone. Humanity was all of a sudden vulnerable to the power of nature and our inability to control what was happening. But then something started to happen. People started to help each other, people started to play music on the balconies of buildings and piazzas. Dj’s such as David Guetta helped to raise money by playing in amongst huge apartment blocks in Miami….goose bumps as I write this, watching the video and remembering back to when I first saw this last year…A feeling of inspiration, community, humanity and when things get tough in the world we do have the power to unite!
Fast forward to today and so much has happened since then! Vaccine developments, vaccine roll outs, vaccine passports, debates, conspiracy theories..you name it we’ve done it! The world went back to something different and travel took a knock of epic proportions! Things are starting to look up though. I see travel companies from around the world start to get busier and I see it with our own little travel agency. I still see inspiration still today such as a giant violin that was built by Livio De Marchi and recently sailed down the canals of Venice with a string quartet playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as a tribute to all the victims that have died from COVID-19. All of this gives me great confidence and inspiration watching these acts of celebration, commemoration and rejuvenation. As an industry, as a country and as a united world, we can do this!
Well that is about it for this week. Keep safe and healthy and above all keep those dreams of travel alive. We are so near to being able to explore the world again!
Giles opened up Checkout Travel (Club Travel Fourways in those days) in 2003. He has travelled around the world, worked and operated in different facets of the travel industry and is passionate about researching and implementing new products and technologies. He completed his MBA in 2020 and is currently studying for an MA in Mindfulness. He is an avid cyclist, loves camping with his family and this adventure junkie’s best travel destination is South-East Asia. The next tick on his bucket list is to complete a journey across Bolivia’s remarkable salt flats. Giles heads up the sales and marketing of Checkout Travel.
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