UK, US and French tourists will not be allowed into SA

30 September 2020 - 16:23

Leisure travellers from the UK and the US are among those who will not be allowed to enter SA when international borders open on Thursday.

Those from France and the Netherlands are also on the list of high-risk countries that will not be allowed access for leisure purposes.

This is according to home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who was speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday.

Earlier, minister Naledi Pandor said leisure travellers from these high-risk countries - defined as those with higher infection or death rates than South Africa - would be barred entry.

However, business travellers, investors and researchers, as well as people entering SA for arts, culture, leisure or sports, will be allowed access, subject to certain requirements.

All travellers from Africa will be allowed to enter South Africa, also subject to requirements.

The countries on the high-risk list include:

  • Brazil
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • France
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Kardon
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Luxem
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Praguay
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America; and
  • Venezuela.

Pandor said the list would be subject to change. "We will review the data every two weeks," she said.

“Travellers intending to visit the country will be expected to produce a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such test,” said Pandor.

The minister said travellers coming into South Africa would have to provide proof of accommodation address for quarantine purposes should they test positive for Covid-19. They will also be required to take a Covid-19 test at their own cost, if they have not already done the PCR test.

When travellers arrive at the port of entry, they will be screened for any Covid-19 symptoms or for contact with people who have been infected with the virus. 

“Should the traveller display any Covid-19 related symptoms or been in contact with an infected person or persons, they will be expected to take a mandatory Covid-19 test. This test will be at the traveller’s cost,” said Pandor.

"If the Covid-19 test comes back positive, the traveller will be subjected to a 10-day quarantine at a designated site. The accommodation at a quarantine site will be at the traveller’s cost.”

She said SA had developed a risk categorisation model for different international travellers, which classified international travellers according to a scale of high, 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 South Africa.

“Medium-risk travellers are from countries with relatively equal number of infections and death toll to South Africa, and low-risk travellers obviously originate from countries with lesser number of infections of Covid-19 and death toll than South Africa.”

Leisure travellers from high-risk countries would not be permitted, she said.

“The exception will be business travellers with scarce and critical skills, including diplomats, repatriated persons, investors and people participating in professional sporting, and events will undergo the same health protocol screenings.”

Airlines from high-risk countries will not be banned from entering the country, but their crew will be required to isolate at designated accommodation at the cost of their employer.

Travellers from all African countries will be allowed into the country but must possess the relevant travel documents. They will also be screened for Covid-19 symptoms, said Pandor.

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