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:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- North Macedonia
- Puerto Rico
- United Emirates
- United Kingdom
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