10 restrictions international travellers should be aware of when coming to SA

01 October 2020 - 09:27
The country will gradually and cautiously ease restrictions on international travel for business, leisure and other travel with effect from October 1.
The country will gradually and cautiously ease restrictions on international travel for business, leisure and other travel with effect from October 1.
Image: 123RF / Iakovenko

The government on Wednesday revealed a long list of restrictions for international travellers and outlined what they can expect at the airport when coming into the country.

SA will gradually and cautiously ease restrictions on international travel for business, leisure and other travel. The rules came into effect on Thursday, October 1, and after the easing of lockdown regulations to level 1.

Visitors from African countries will be allowed into the country but leisure travellers from Covid-19 countries deemed high-risk won't be permitted access. The government revealed a list of 60 such countries.

International relations and co-operation minister Naledi Pandor said SA had developed a risk categorisation model for different international travellers, and the scale ranks from high, to medium and low risk.

High-risk travellers are those who come from countries with higher numbers of Covid-19 infections and reported deaths compared to SA.

Medium risk travellers are from countries with a relatively equal number of infections and death tolls to SA.

Low-risk travellers originate from countries with a lesser number of infections and death toll compared to SA.

Long-term visa holders who visit the country for business purposes, diplomats, repatriated people, investors, and people participating in professional sporting and cultural events from high-risk countries would be allowed entry but should adhere to certain conditions.

Here is a wrap of key restrictions that travellers planning to enter the country should be aware of:

  • International travellers should possess a mandatory travel insurance which is supposed to cover the Covid-19 test and quarantine costs.
  • Travellers will need to provide proof of accommodation address should they need to self-quarantine upon arrival in the country.
  • Upon arrival, in the port of entry, travellers will be screened for any Covid-19 symptoms or for contact with people who have been infected with the virus.
  • Travellers who display any Covid-19-related symptoms or have been in contact with an infected person, will be expected to take a mandatory Covid-19 test.
  • Those who test positive for the virus on arrival will be subjected to a 10-day quarantine at a designated site, which they will be required to pay for.
  • Travellers coming into SA must present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 test from within 72 hours from the time of departure to enter the country.
  • This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner.
  • Travellers from medium and low-risk countries will only be allowed into the country subject to the prevailing visa requirements.
  • In the interest of all citizens and the continuing public health efforts, SA reserves the right to deny entry of any traveller who is travelling from a high-risk country for tourism purposes.
  • Airlines from high-risk countries are not necessarily banned, but their crew will be required to isolate in facilities at designated accommodation.

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