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South Africa Has Published Its List of 60 Countries Banned From Leisure Travel

As of today, 1 October 2020, South Africa has opened its borders to international travelers. There are, however, numerous restrictions, including presenting a negative COVID-19 test, and visitors only being allowed to enter through select airports and land border posts. Furthermore, the South African Government has published a list of 60 countries that are banned from leisure travel to South Africa.

International Relations and cooperation minister Naledi Pandor said in a media briefing on Wednesday that the country’s infections rate has gone down and the country can return to a ‘more normal’ situation.

She said that the government has developed a list of high and low-risk countries which will be allowed to travel to and from the country based on World Health Organization guidelines over a seven-day period.

  • High risk travelers are those who come from countries with higher numbers of Covid-19 infections and reported deaths compared to South Africa.
  • Medium risk travelers are from countries with relatively equal number of infections and death toll to SA.
  • Low risk travelers obviously originate from countries with lesser number of infections of Covid-19 and death toll than SA.

This list will be updated on a regular basis, reviewed every two weeks, Pandor said.

Leisure travelers from high-risk countries will not be permitted. The exception will be business travelers 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. “Travelers that intend to visit the country will need to produce a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin,” Pandor said.

“The test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and must have the name and signature of the person who conducted the test.” Upon arrival, travelers will be screened for any Covid-19 symptom s and will also be screened for contract with people who have been in contact with others who could have had Covid-19.

Travelers will also need to provide proof of accommodation addresses in case they need to self-isolate. International travel around the world has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Those who are found to have Covid-19 after entering the country will be required to isolate for 10 days at their own cost. Travel insurance will be mandatory for all travelers. If the passport of the traveler from a high risk country indicates that they spent 10 days or more in a low risk country before departure, they will be considered to be arriving from a low risk country.

Banned countries are:

  1. Albania
  2. Argentina
  3.  Armenia
  4. Austria
  5. Bahrain
  6. Belgium
  7. Bolivia
  8. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  9. Brazil
  10. Chile
  11. Columbia
  12. Costa Rica
  13. Croatia
  14. Czech Republic
  15. Denmark
  16. Ecuador
  17. France
  18. Georgia
  19. Greece
  20. Guatemala
  21. Guyana
  22. Honduras
  23. Hungary
  24. Iceland
  25. India
  26. Iran
  27. Iraq
  28. Ireland
  29. Israel
  30. Jamaica
  31. Jordan
  32. Kuwait
  33. Lebanon
  34. Luxemburg
  35. Maldives
  36. Malta
  37. Mexico
  38. Moldova
  39. Montenegro
  40. Nepal
  41. Netherlands
  42. North Macedonia
  43. Oman
  44. Palestine
  45. Panama
  46. Paraguay
  47. Peru
  48. Portugal
  49. Puerto Rico
  50. Qatar
  51. Romania
  52. Russia
  53. Slovakia
  54. Suriname
  55. Switzerland
  56. Ukraine
  57. United Emirates
  58. United Kingdom
  59. USA
  60. Venezuela

To read Home Affairs’ full speech on the reopening of the borders for international travel, click here. And to read the SA Government Gazette changes, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2], [3]. Image sources: [1], [2].

South Africa Moving to Level 1 Lock-down: What Are the Changes?

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that a number of South Africa’s lockdown regulations will be relaxed as the country moves to a level 1 lockdown from midnight on Sunday (20 September).

In a national address on Wednesday evening (16 September), the president said that the country has ‘withstood the storm’ in its fight against the coronavirus and that the data shows a clear downward trend in the country.

However, he cautioned that ‘by any measure we are still in the midst of a deadly epidemic’ and said that the most important task is ensuring that the country is not hit by a second wave of infections as is being seen internationally.

To help prevent a possible second wave, Ramaphosa said that the government will expand its testing to include more categories of people. He said that the government also plans to step up its contact tracing capabilities.

Ramaphosa said that South Africa is also participating in a World Health Organisation initiative to ensure access and distribution to a successful coronavirus vaccine at a lower cost. Local experts are also working on a vaccine.

The South African government has consistently reminded citizens to practice strict hygiene habits, and follow safety guidelines, which include wearing masks, washing and sanitizing hands, maintaining a social distance of at least 2 metres, and working from home whenever possible.

Eased restrictions

As Covid-19 cases decrease, the president said that the country will move to lockdown level 1 from midnight on Sunday (taking effect at midnight, or 00h01 on Monday), with restrictions eased in the following areas:

Gatherings

  • Gatherings will be allowed as long as the number of people do not exceed 50% of the normal capacity of a venue –  up to a maximum of 250 people for indoor gatherings and 500 people for outdoor gatherings;
  • Maximum capacity at funerals has been increased to 100 people;
  • Night vigils are still prohibited;
  • Venues such as gyms and recreational facilities have had limits increased to 50% of total capacity;
  • Existing restrictions on sporting events remain in place.

 

Travel

  • The government will gradually ease restrictions on international travel for business and leisure from 1 October – subject to containment measures. A list of permitted countries will be published and based on the latest scientific data;
  • International travel will only be allowed through the main border ports or through OR Tambo International, Cape Town International, or King Shaka International;
  • Travellers will need to provide a negative coronavirus certificate or will be put into quarantine at their own cost;
  • All travellers will be required to install the Coivd-19 alert level app.

 

Other changes

  • The evening curfew will apply between 00h00 and 04h00;
  • Alcohol for home consumption can be sold between 09h00 – 17h00 from Monday to Friday;
  • On-site consumption will be allowed subject to adherence to the curfew;
  • More government facilities will return.

Ramaphosa said that this will be the ‘new normal’ and that updated restrictions will be gazetted over the next few days, providing more clarity.

New economic recovery plan 

The move to level 1 comes after the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) has agreed to an action plan for South Africa’s economic recovery.

The plan is directed towards building confidence and placing South Africa on a path of investment and growth.

“Social partners have identified priority areas for rebuilding the economy as well as structural reforms and other programmes which will enable sustainable and inclusive growth with an intensive focus on job creation,” the presidency said.

While the final details of the plan will only be announced once it is finalised by cabinet, the presidency said that a core focus will be on addressing Eskom’s structural and funding problems.

“Social partners have also agreed on a social compact which commits government, business, labour and community to mobilising funding to address Eskom’s financial crisis in a sustainable manner – in return for an efficient, productive and fit-for-purpose Eskom that generates electricity at affordable prices for communities and industries,” it said.

Another key pillar of the plan will be infrastructure, with a massive development drive seen as key to driving recovery post-lockdown and creating jobs.

This comes after the presidency published a list of ‘priority infrastructure projects’, which is expected to pave the way for the beginning of private investment in a R2.3 trillion programme over the next decade.

To watch the President’s speech, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Ghana Reopens Borders to International Commercial Flights September 1st

This information was provided to us courtesy of Globetrotters Legal.
The government of Ghana announced August 30, 2020, that the country’s airspace will be opened to international commercial flights effective September 1, 2020.

Travelers must take note of the following protocols and the attached for further information.

  1. A negative COVID-19 PCR test result obtained 72 hours before arrival from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin is required;
  2. Compulsory wearing of face masks for passengers;
  3. Mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport terminal, at a fee to be borne by the passenger (should not exceed GH 500). The test result will be available within thirty (30) minutes;
  4. Testing at the airport not required of children under the age of five (5);
  5. Passengers, who test positive for COVID-19, will be handled by the health authorities for further clinical assessment and management;
  6. Passengers, who test negative, can enter Ghana to go about their lawful activities and will be advised to continue to observe COVID-19 safety precautions during their stay in Ghana; and
  7. Departing passengers will be required to take A PCR test 72 hours prior to departure and present a negative result to port health officials for verification before being allowed to complete departure formalities;

Ghanaian land and sea borders will continue to remain closed to human traffic until further notice.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].