Tag Archive for: Restrictions

The world has come to a complete standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many industries, companies and businesses have been affected by this, compelling them to restructure the way business is conducted. The global mobility and relocation industries are some of the industries that have been severely impacted by the global pandemic. This in turn has affected the mobility industry, ultimately affecting the relocation industry. Relocation Africa, mobility, relocation, and immigration business has been largely affected by this pandemic.

In efforts to combat the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of their citizens, states have enforced bolder border entry restrictions, travel bans, and quarantine adherences. This has made managing the expatriate and international assignee workforce complex and challenging. Relocation Africa, situated in a continent that has been administered severe travel restrictions from third world countries while undergoing a slow vaccine rollout. Relocation Africa provides a variety of Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration and Expatriate Tax services across the continent of Africa, assisting individuals and corporate clients settle into new environments as efficiently as possible.

The mobility, immigration and relocation industry has had to change the way they conduct business, to resort to flexible and remote ways in engaging their mobile expatriates and international assignees. At Relocation Africa has had to change their normal procedure/ operations of mobility and relocation to accommodate the travel restrictions and their clients.

Relocation Africa has flexed all its programs. Adding new services such as remote packing up for clients, remotely or virtually selling products for countries who are not in the country, conducts virtual and adjusted services such as opening bank accounts to allow expatriates to do this more remotely. Relocation Africa has also extended its online platforms to include more information that is readily available to its clients. Relocation Africa has also had to ensure that all training and expectation management has considered COVID-19 protocols and to ensure each assignee safe and prioritised. We have also attempted to communicate more extensively to all our clients as we cover a large geography with very different regulations, border closing and re-opening, as well as immigration regulations that are adjusting as the pandemic changes.  We would like you to connect with us on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter to ensure you are getting our updates on service offerings as well as travel updates and border regulations.

 

 

 

 

 

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced new lockdown measures at both national, and district level for South Africa.

In a national address on Monday evening (14 December), the president said that the country has been hit by a second wave of coronavirus infections with nearly 8,000 new cases reported on Sunday.

There can no longer be any doubt that South Africa has entered a second wave, said the president. “If we do not act urgently, the second wave will be even more severe than the first wave.”

The president pointed to four provinces leading this second wave, including:

  • The Western Cape
  • The Eastern Cape
  • KZN
  • Gauteng

There are probably many reasons for this massive spike in infections, but some key contributors are now becoming clearer, the president said.

Ramaphosa said that most cases are reported in young people between 15 and 19 years. He said that one of the main reasons for the massive spike in infections are social gatherings and parties- particularly the matric rage event.

“In many of these gatherings, social distancing is not being observed, venues are crowded and not adequately ventilated, hand sanitiser is not readily available, and people are not wearing masks,” he said.

Many people consume alcoholic drinks at these ‘super-spreader’ events, with the result that people become less careful about taking measures to protect themselves and prevent infection.

“We now know that nearly 1,000 young people from Gauteng who attended the event have tested positive for the coronavirus. What we don’t yet know is how many more people each of them has infected.

“It is said that up to 300 families could in turn have been infected. The sad truth about is that festivals, concerts & parties – which should be occasions for fun & joy – are proving to be sources of infection & illness and may even lead to deaths.”

Other reasons behind the rise infections include increased travel between provinces and a relaxed attitude to current lockdown regulations such as wearing masks.

“The more we travel, the greater the potential to spread the virus,” the president said.

He said that the relatively low rates of infection over the last few months have made us more relaxed about wearing a mask over our nose and mouth every time we go out in public.

“Another factor in the rise in infections is increased travel with many people not observing prevention measures as they move within cities, towns and rural areas, and between different areas.”

“The festive season now poses the greatest threat,” the president said. “Unless we do things differently, this will be the last Christmas for many South Africans,” he said.

Local restrictions

Ramaphosa said that it is necessary to take extraordinary measures to save lives, while still protecting livelihoods.

These measures include local lockdown restrictions for the Sarah Baartman District in the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route District in the Western Cape, which have been declared hotspot regions.

From 00h01 on Tuesday, until a drop in infections is seen, the following additional restrictions will take affect in these areas:

  • Hours of curfew will be from 22h00 – 04h00 except for essential workers and emergencies;
  • The sale of alcohol will only be permitted between 10h00 and 18h00, from Monday and Thursday at retail outlets;
  • Alcohol use will be banned in public places such as beaches and parks;
  • All gatherings, including religious gatherings, may not be attended by more than 100 people for indoor events and 250 people for outdoor events;
  • At all times the total number of people may not exceed 50% of venue capacity;
  • All post-funeral gatherings are now prohibited.

National lockdown

Ramaphosa also announced that further national restrictions will be reintroduced from 00h01 on Tuesday.

These restrictions will be reviewed in early January based on the state of the country’s coronavirus cases, he said.

The new restrictions include:

  • Stricter enforcement of existing level 1 lockdown restrictions – This includes that people in public buildings and public transport wear masks.
  • Gatherings – Gatherings will be further restricted to 100 people for indoor events and 250 for outdoor events. The total number of people in a venue may not exceed 50% of the capacity of the venue.
  • Funerals – All post-funeral gathering are prohibited across the country.
  • Beaches – Ramaphosa said that a differentiated approach will be used for the country’s beaches and public parks. In areas with high coronavirus cases beaches and parks will be closed from 16 December to 3 January – this will apply to all of the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route. Beaches will also be closed in KZN on days which are seen as particularly busy. These include 16 December, 26 December, 31 December, 1 January, 2 January, and 3 January. Beaches and public parks in the Western Cape and Northern Cape will remain open for now.
  • Evening – South Africa’s national curfew will be extended: 23h00 until 04h00. This means that non-essential establishments such as restaurants will have to close at 22h00 so that staff and patrons can go home before curfew. The curfew is in full effect on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
  • Alcohol – The sale of alcohol will only be permitted from 10h00 – 18h00 from Monday to Thursday at retail outlets. Wine farms can remain open and sell alcohol for off-site consumption as per their licence hours.

 

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].

The South African Government has relaxed the country’s level 1 lockdown rules around international travel, allowing visitors from any country provided they follow health and safety guidelines.

In an address on Wednesday evening (11 November), President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the easing of these restrictions is to enable all parts of the economy to return to full operation as quickly and as safely as possible.

“(We are) opening up international travel to all countries subject to the necessary health protocols and the presentation of a negative Covid-19 certificate. By using rapid tests and strict monitoring we intend to limit the spread of the infection through importation,” he said.

While the decision has been welcomed by the local tourism industry, it may be hamstrung as several key target markets are experiencing a second wave in coronavirus infections which will prevent potential tourists from visiting South Africa.

“From 5 November to 2 December 2020, travelling away from home, including internationally, is restricted from England except in limited circumstances such as for work or for education,” the UK’s foreign office said.

The foreign office also advises against all but essential travel to the whole of South Africa based on the current assessment of Covid-19 risks.

Some restrictions are also in place for Germany and France, with both countries also re-entering lockdowns in recent weeks. A ban on overseas travel from Australia is also in place.

Despite existing international restrictions, local tourism has praised the decision to ease restrictions, especially the removal of the ‘high-risk list’ which saw travellers from specific countries prohibited from entering South Africa for leisure travel.

“We have been calling for the ‘red list’ to be scrapped from day one, as it was killing our key source markets for tourism in the Western Cape ahead of the summer season and causing much confusion and uncertainty for the travel and tourism industry which has been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the Western Cape’s minister of finance and economic opportunities David Maynier.

Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, chief executive of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa has also been lobbying the government to abandon the ‘red list’ as it was not necessary because travellers had to present a Covid-19 test before entering the country.

“We have worked hard with determination and persistence for the sake of the tourism industry,” he said. “As the president has just announced, all borders will be open subject to Covid-19 negative certificate for all passengers. No more high-risk list of countries. Let’s all go to work.”

Partial re-opening of borders

The 18 land borders which were partially operational, will be fully operational, and the 34 land borders which were closed, will remain closed.

Travelling to and from South Africa is allowed, subject to:

  • The traveller providing a valid certificate of a negative test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel;
  • In the event of the traveller’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative test, the traveller will be required to quarantine him or herself at his or her own costs.

International air travel remains restricted to the following airports:

  • OR Tambo International Airport:
  • King Shaka International Airport;
  • Cape Town International Airport.

The resumption of services for visa applications shall be determined in directions issued by minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi.

The minister is also expected to work with the Department of Health and the Department of Transport on international travel containment protocols to ensure that entry into South African ports of entry will only be allowed subject to adherence to ensure Covid-19 positive travellers are not allowed into the country.


Liquor sales 

The gazette states that the sale of liquor is permitted:

  • By licensed premises for off-site consumption, is permitted during licensed trading hours – subject to the laws governing such licenses;
  • By a licensed premises for on-site consumption is permitted, subject to strict adherence to the curfew.

Since the start of alert level one on 21 September 2020, licensed outlets have only been allowed to sell alcohol for home consumption on weekdays from 09h00 to 17hoo.

The amended regulations effectively mean that liquor trading returns to pre-lockdown hours, with bottle stores and other retailers now able sell liquor for off-site consumption over the weekend and during all licensed trading hours.

Any person who does not follow these regulations is liable to be fined or faces imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months.

 

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].

There’s an average of 335 investors per day applying to visit South Africa, ‘sending a strong message that South Africa remains an attractive investment destination’.

The South African government recently issued a revised list of what it deems “high-risk countries”, based on a risk categorization model, in light of the current pandemic.  The list is compiled by ministers of health, home affairs and tourism, and was done in a way that “strikes a balance between saving lives and protecting livelihoods”. 

No changes were made to travel in Africa. The only people from high-risk countries who are able to visit South Africa at the moment are those travelling for business, those that hold critical skills visas, investors, and those from sports, arts, culture and science international missions. 

Travelers from select European countries who usually visit South Africa in the summer to escape cold winter months in the Northern Hemisphere, many of whom own property, will also be allowed to visit South Africa.  However, this is subject to a three-month visitation period or longer, and Covid-19 protocols. 

Those seeking permission to travel to South Africa must email their requests, and provide a copy of their passport and temporary residence visa, proof of business activities to be undertaken, proof of travel itinerary and proof of address or accommodation. 

The email address that has been in operation has in the last two weeks received 4,701 applications. So far, 3,113 have been approved.  This amounts to an average of 335 investors per day applying to visit South Africa, “sending a strong message that South Africa remains an attractive investment destination”.  As such, capacity to manage the email account has been increased. 

Here is the latest list of high-risk countries still not allowed to travel to South Africa for leisure travel: 

  • Argentina
  • Germany
  • Peru
  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Philippines
  • Belgium
  • Indonesia
  • Russia
  • Brazil
  • Iran
  • Spain
  • Canada
  • Iraq
  • United Kingdom
  • Chile
  • Italy
  • USA
  • Colombia
  • Mexico
  • France
  • Netherlands

 

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].