many tourists try to flee South Africa

many tourists try to flee South Africa

South Africa is increasingly isolated from the world. The discovery of the Omicron variant by South African scientists sparks a wave of panic abroad where countries are closing their borders with South Africa. This is already the case for the countries of the European Union, Russia, the United States, Brazil and even Morocco. Airlines flights are canceled at the last minute and many passengers find themselves stranded in South Africa.

With our correspondent in Johannesburg, Romain Song

At OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, a small red cross and this inscription: canceled.

Lynette is desperately looking for a flight on the departure board for Australia, after a family vacation in South Africa: ” I came to see my parents, I had not seen them for three years. They open the borders, I take this opportunity to come and say hello and now I can’t go home. It’s terrible ….

A long queue forms in front of the Ethiopian Airlines check-in counter. It is via Addis Ababa that Maria and her mother will reach Norway. Their travel agency found this flight for them at the last minute: “ We were supposed to leave with British Airways but our flight was canceled when we were in the middle of the bush with no internet connection … It was great …

► To read also: Covid-19: South Africa feels punished after its revelations on the Omicron variant

In the line, there is also a Swedish golfer present for the Johannesburg Open. The competition turned into a fiasco after the abandonment of fifteen players preferring to join their country before the borders were closed.

David, who carries the golfer’s gear, is in a hurry to get home: “ It’s scary to be here when they’ve just discovered a new variant. So I try to leave as quickly as possible.

The last places were snapped up at a high price. Two German friends spent 1,900 euros each to reach Munich via Ethiopia.