Last night during our second night in a row at Jabula for dinner, the conversation centered around what will happen with many of us foreigners currently living in the bush when we choose to leave the country. Flights to many countries are being canceled right and left.
Fritz, a local we’ve come to know at Jabula, is scheduled to fly back to his home country on Tuesday, to The Netherlands, to be with his family for the Christmas holiday. It’s doubtful he’ll be able to fly out. The country is refusing flights arriving from South Africa.
This headline was posted online yesterday at this link:
“61 travelers from South Africa in Netherlands positive for COVID-19 -authorities
AMSTERDAM, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Dutch health authorities said that 61 people who arrived in Amsterdam on two flights from South Africa on Friday tested positive for COVID-19, and they were conducting further testing early Saturday to see if any of the infections are with the recently discovered Omicron coronavirus variant.
Around 600 passengers arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on the two KLM flights on Friday and then faced hours of delays and testing due to concerns over the new virus variant.
The Dutch health ministry said early Saturday, 61 tests had come back positive.
“Travelers with a positive test result will be placed in isolation at a hotel at or near Schiphol,” health authorities said in a statement.
Of the positive test results, we are researching as quickly as possible whether they are the new variant of concern, now named ‘Omicron.'”
The Dutch government banned all air travel from southern Africa early on Friday. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge determined that passengers already en route to the Netherlands would have to undergo testing and quarantine upon arrival.”
No doubt, this dilemma will impact travelers worldwide, including many of us currently in South Africa. We’ll likely fly to the US as planned, but we have to wait and see what transpires. From this article, we’re hopeful we’ll be able to continue with our plans to travel to the US with our booked flight on Delta Airlines on January 23, 2022:
“United and Delta say they aren’t cutting flights to South Africa as new travel restrictions throw a wrench in the recovery of international travel.
The US government will implement new international travel restrictions that will affect the two US airlines that fly between the US and southern Africa.
United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are currently the only American airlines serving South Africa, where travel will soon be restricted. Non-US travelers who have been to that country and seven others in Africa within the last 14 days will not be allowed into the US starting Monday due to new fears stemming from the COVID-19 Omicron “variant of concern.”
Both airlines currently fly to Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, and United plans to resume flights to Cape Town in December.
Delta confirmed to Insider that it is not currently planning any service changes in light of the new restrictions.”
This is good news for us, but another aspect of this current scenario is that we’ll need to quarantine when we arrive in the USA. Staying in a decent hotel for 18 days in Florida, dining out for 18 days, paying almost US $100, ZAR 1627, a day for a rental car we won’t be able to use but need to get food.
Not only do we have to consider our dear friend’s safety for their wedding and their friends and family members, but we also have to consider who else we may come in contact with during those days; the hotel staff, staff in restaurants and the shops where we’ll need to go to purchase clothing for the wedding and the three days we booked for the wedding at the golf resort.
I don’t think either of us is prepared for all of this, especially after the restrictions we faced in lockdown in Mumbai, India, for ten months.
Based on what President Ramphosa says in his next “family meeting,” usually conducted on Sunday nights at 8:00 pm, 2000 hrs, we may begin soon to make some decisions. At this point, there’s no announcement that such a meeting will transpire tonight.
We realize we wrote about this in yesterday’s post, and we apologize for the redundancy. But, we’ve always promised to be “real” and share our concerns as they appear in our lives of world travel. This is on our minds right now. It’s not realistic to avoid sharing our views and concerns. As we advance, we’ll share what we’ve decided to do about the upcoming trip to the US on January 23, 2022, but also attempt to avoid rehashing it over and over. Thank you.
Photo from one year ago today, November 28, 2020:
|This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #250. Many beaches in Maui are left in a natural state, with vegetation growing along the shoreline. For more photos, please click here.|