Returning from abroad? Here's how to apply for self-quarantine at home

29 July 2020 - 06:58 By Unathi Nkanjeni
It is now possible for repatriated South Africans to apply to self-quarantine for 10-14 days in their own home or at a facility of their choice.
It is now possible for repatriated South Africans to apply to self-quarantine for 10-14 days in their own home or at a facility of their choice.
Image: m-gucci / iStock via AFP Relaxnews

It is now possible for repatriated South Africans to apply to self-quarantine for 10-14 days in their home or at a facility of their choice.

Those who wish to isolate in the comfort of their home and not in a state-assigned quarantine facility must submit a written application at least 72 hours before the intended date of travel to the heath director-general to obtain approval.

If the application of a person arriving in the country is approved, he or she will be allowed to self-quarantine or isolate on arrival and will be subjected to health reporting protocols and regular follow-ups by the department of health

Previously, expatriates were assigned a site to quarantine for up to 14 days, then later were allowed to return to their place of residence from a quarantine or isolation facility.

According to new directives issued by health minister Zweli Mkhize, people returning to SA from abroad may self-isolate for a fixed period.

Asymptomatic patients should isolated for 10 days from the time of testing positive for Covid-19. Those with mild, moderate or severe symptoms should isolate for 10 days from their onset.

Applications for those who wish to self-quarantine at home must include proof of suitable premises for self-isolation, contact details during the isolation period and the person’s itinerary for the preceding 30 days.

“Where approval for self-quarantine has not been granted or it has been determined that the person has failed to adhere to the self-quarantine conditions, such a person will be placed at in a state-identified quarantine facility,” said Mkhize.

To qualify for self-quarantine or self-isolation, applicants must have the following:

  • a separate, well-ventilated bedroom with a bathroom and toilet, or a residence that is not shared with people who are not subject to quarantine;
  • meals served in the room with disposable utensils or utensils that are separate and are washed properly if there are people in the household who are not subject to quarantine;
  • support from friends or family that can facilitate the drop-off of food and medicine at the entrance if one is not able to make use of online shopping facilities and contactless deliveries;
  • a thermometer that will allow one to measure one's temperature daily;
  • access to the internet and a phone that allows the daily reporting of symptoms;
  • access to a private physician that one can contact should one be in need of medical advice or care; and
  • a contact number where he or she can be reached during the period of self-quarantine or self-isolation.

Those who wish to apply for self-isolation on return to SA can click here. Once completed, the form must be sent to quarantine@healthpmo.co.za, CCing Albertina.Menyatso@health.gov.za and Pam.masilela@health.gov.za


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