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Belgian tourist stuck in South Africa “Wait and hope for the best”

A Belgian tourist that is currently unable to return from South Africa has told VRT News that up until now she has received little information from the Belgian Embassy about what happens next. 

Barbara De Laet was due to return to Belgium from South Africa via Switzerland on Saturday. However, the Swiss authorities are only allowing Swiss nationals into the country from South Africa. “We have been able to get another flight via Frankfurt, but that doesn’t leave until Thursday 2 December”, Ms De Laet told VRT News. 

Although she isn’t too bothered by the prospect of having to spend a few more days in South Africa, she is concerned that it could be uncertain as to whether her flight next Thursday will be able to leave for Frankfurt. “It’s a case of wait and see and hope for the best”.

Her only source of information of what she will have to do when she returns to Belgium is the media. The Belgian Embassy has been unable to provide any addition information.

"They are waiting for advice from the Foreign Ministry. They advised us to a book a new return flight and that is what we have done”, Ms De Laet said.

She went on to say that the discovery of a new coronavirus variant in South Africa is above all a bad thing for South Africans. Countries have imposed bans on travel to South Africa. “They have received a lot of cancellations. They are witnessing part of their tourist season being ruined”. This is despite a relatively low number of coronavirus infections in South Africa. "That is the reason why we came here. There is less virus circulation than in Europe”. 

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