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US shutdown – what’s the impact on SA travellers?
Wednesday, 02 October 2013
Operations in US consulates across South Africa, and worldwide, have– at this stage – not been affected by the shutdown of the US government, says the US Embassy in Pretoria. Airline and airport operations also seem unaffected.

The US government began a partial shutdown on Tuesday (October 1), after Congress failed to reach a budget deal, putting hundreds of thousands of US government workers on furloughs (leaves of absence).

“The application and issuing of visas will continue as normal at this stage,” a representative at the Pretoria Embassy told eTNW.

Jean Medina, spokeswoman of Airlines for America (the air transport association of America), said airline and airport operations were unaffected. She added that the association had been advised by the Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection that “front line employees would not be subject to shut down-related furloughs that would affect the travelling public.”

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has issued a statement, saying “the United States must remain open for business”.

“A government shutdown will have rippling effects through the economy and severely impact the business travel industry. The government’s inability to issue passports and visas will result in cancelled trips and lost business opportunities. During the 1996 shutdown, hundreds of thousands of passports went unissued and tens of thousands of visa applications went unprocessed. If the shutdown is extended, overseas businesses will lose confidence,” said executive director and coo, Michael McCormick.

Meanwhile, tourists in America will not be able to visit certain attractions, such as Lincoln Memorial, Independence Hall and the Statue of Liberty, which have been closed.
By : etnw
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