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Your Covid-19 questions answered

I am fully vaccinated, where can I travel to?

08 September 2021 - 07:00
An online mapping tool can help you figure out where you can travel. Stock photo.
An online mapping tool can help you figure out where you can travel. Stock photo.

Fully vaxxed and ready to put a fresh stamp on your passport? Well, get packing.

To date 35 countries, including Dubai, France, Germany, Costa Rica and Monaco, have eased their restrictions to fully vaccinated South Africans.

According to the travel guide website Sherpa, which developed a mapping tool showing Covid-19 travel restrictions in effect around the world, in the 35 countries Covid-19 testing or quarantine is not required upon arrival. ​

By comparison, 60 countries require a Covid-19 test upon arrival, and 23 countries are open for travel with a requirement for Covid-19 testing and quarantine upon arrival.

South Africans are restricted from travelling to 82 countries, including the US, Australia, Seychelles, Brazil and China.

“Travel is only open for returning citizens and those meeting strict requirements,” said the site.

There are also 32 countries whose restrictions are unknown.

Do I need proof that I have been vaccinated?

Yes. In most international countries, be it travelling for leisure or return, a vaccine certificate (vaccine passport) is required upon entry.

The European Union (EU) implemented a Digital Green Certificate, equipped with a digital signature in the form of a scannable QR code, which is used to prove a traveller’s vaccination status, allowing for free movement between member states.

The UK has developed its own NHS Covid Pass, India has its QR-verifiable CoWin platform, US states are introducing digital health records stored on mobile phones.

China launched its international travel health certificate in March, while France introduced its “vaccine passport enforcement” last month.

In the US, certain companies and tourist attractions such as Goldman Sachs, Disney, Walmart, Netflix, Facebook and Google also require “vaccination passports”.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) also launched a self-registration portal to make it easier for Covid-19 testing labs to join the IATA Travel Pass Lab Network.

IATA’s lab network provides a list of eligible lab locations around the globe so travellers can easily find a location for a Covid-19 test before travel.

What should I do if I lose my vaccination card?

If something happens to your vaccine card or you lose it, you should contact the site where you were vaccinated.

Wherever you were vaccinated, a pharmacy or drive-through vaccination site, will have your records on file.

“The information provided at registration assists in planning, as data from the system allows government to allocate vaccines to the service points.

“Through the system, government can ensure enough vaccines are available on a particular vaccination day. The information is also used to communicate with you about the vaccination programme when necessary. All EVDS data is securely stored and the system is compliant with all applicable legislation,” said government.