President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the Ministry of Health will soon deploy the vaccine certificate as proof that residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
In a televised address to the nation, the president said the digital pass system could be used to indicate vaccination status to facilitate travel, access to facilities, gatherings and other forms of activity.
“Our approach is based on World Health Organization guidelines and is in line with international best practices. Streamlining and standardizing immunization evidence will also go a long way in easing a number of international travel restrictions to and from. our country, ”he explained. .
The first citizen gave a speech on the evolution of the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the remarks, the President announced that the country will move from Friday from Adjusted Alert Level 2 to Adjusted Alert Level 1 after the country exits the third wave of COVID-19 over the week. -end.
The statement comes after meetings with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) and the Cabinet.
“Getting vaccinated isn’t just about protecting yourself and those around you; it’s also about preventing the emergence of new, more dangerous variants, as the virus can spread and mutate in unvaccinated populations.” , said President Ramaphosa.
However, he urged South Africans to continue to adhere to basic precautions to limit the spread of the virus, even if they are vaccinated.
Focusing on tourism, the President said several countries around the world have chosen to restrict travel from other countries, including the United Kingdom (UK), which has imposed a travel ban on the South. Africans under its red list.
This means that travelers returning from South Africa to the UK must spend 10 days in quarantine at their own expense, even if they are vaccinated.
“This has put us at a disadvantage, as the UK is South Africa’s largest source of tourism from the northern hemisphere and an important trading partner,” the President said.
As British scientists worried about the beta variant’s presence in South Africa, President Ramaphosa said the delta variant was now by far the dominant variant locally.
The head of state confirmed having had a phone call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to discuss the matter.
“I presented him with the case of South Africa, which he understood very well,” he told the nation.
“We both agreed that decisions of this nature should be informed by science and we hope for a positive outcome when the matter is considered in the coming days.”
In addition, President Ramaphosa said the country’s priority is economic recovery to make room for job creation and help businesses hit hard by the pandemic to get back on their feet.
“The only way to do this is for more South Africans to choose to get vaccinated, faster.
“If the majority of our population is vaccinated, we can declare South Africa a safe destination and welcome tourists again during the summer season.”
The president believes this is the only way for the country to resume sporting events and concerts, lift restrictions on restaurants and bars and facilitate safe return to workplaces, shops and restaurants. public spaces.
“If we can meet our vaccination targets by the end of this year, we can avoid further restrictions and accelerate our economic recovery,” he said.