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Nigeria to Reopen Airports for International Flights From 29 August

Nigeria will reopen its airports for international flights from Aug. 29, its aviation minister said on Monday.

The airports have been closed since March 23 to all but essential international flights as part of the country’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika said four flights would begin landing daily in Lagos, and four in Abuja, with strict protocols. He did not say where they would be coming from.

“It is safe to fly, if we observe all those protocols in place,” Sirika said at a briefing in Abuja.

Africa’s most populous nation, which recorded its first confirmed coronavirus case in late February, now has 49,068 confirmed cases and 975 deaths.

It resumed domestic flights on July 8 and Sirika said there had been no confirmed virus transmissions on flights.

Passengers on international flights will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test in order to board and pay for another test after they arrive in Nigeria, Sirika said. They will also be required to fill in an online health questionnaire and present it to authorities when they land.

Those currently returning to Nigeria aboard repatriation flights are required to self-quarantine for 14 days, and authorities retain passports for that period. Sirika said on Monday they could “gradually” stop keeping passengers’ passports.

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].

Department of Tourism: Best and Worst Case Scenarios for When South Africa Will Reopen for Tourists

The Department of Tourism has published a new draft recovery plan, outlining the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and how the tourism industry is likely to be impacted over the coming year.

The document is a detailed breakdown of international and local projections for when tourism will likely open up, using modelling that takes into account various infection patterns and recovery scenarios.

South Africa’s projections are predicated on international trends, which modelling shows is likely to open up for travel in a wide window of between August 2020 and May 2021.

Depending on the local spread of Covid-19 and recovery scenarios, South Africa’s tourism could start opening up as early as August 2020 in the best-case scenario, the department said – but in the worst-case, the industry could remain shut until well into 2021.


International travel

The policy document notes that the reopening of international tourism and the country borders will not only be dependent on South Africa’s coronavirus response, but also 44 primary source markets which drive international tourism to the country.

To help model when these countries are likely to reopen, pandemic data for individual countries was sourced and manipulated to obtain the pandemic duration, maximum number of deaths per day, date of peak daily mortality and days since peak daily mortality.

Date of peak daily mortality and peak value had to be determined for each country, and if a country had not yet reached its peak, these were estimated either by extrapolation or by setting a peak number and peak factor.

A linear recovery equation was found for three benchmark countries: South Korea (plateau), China (steep) and the United States (very steep). Gradients and limitations were adjusted to apply more optimistic or pessimistic assumptions and develop alternative scenarios.

Lastly, using China as a benchmark, where it took 60 days to open partially and a further 30 days for full domestic opening, the Oxford Lockdown Stringency Index (LSI) was used to approximate the number of days it would take from the point of recording zero daily deaths to full opening per source country.

Using this data, the department forecasts a global tourism re-opening between August 2020 and early 2021.

“This scenario assumes that the general observed recovery trajectory persists and that progress towards enhanced treatments for Covid-19 by the end of 2020 continue, with an accessible vaccine coming to market by the end of 2021,” the department said.

“Since indications of international border re-openings remain speculative at the time of writing, these dates represent the earliest likely date at which international travel will resume.”

The below model shows the estimated travel periods for South Africa’s primary ‘source countries’  for tourism.

  • The model is set between August 2020 and May 2021;
  • For domestic travel (travel within the respective country), the opening window is set between August 2020 and mid-February 2021;
  • For international travel (to and from the respective country), the opening window is set between November 2020 and May 2021.

Localised and global reinfection 

While the above model provides a positive picture globally, the risk of localised or global reinfection waves continue to threaten the global economic recovery and the strength and consistency of projected recoveries therefore come with low levels of certainty.

“As countries begin the process of re-opening, there remains a strong likelihood that trajectories out of lockdown conditions will prove far more fragile than hoped and that contagion risk in neighbouring countries or regions will force many nations to remain closed off from the world well into 2021,” the department said.

For this reason, the department provided two further global scenarios:

  • A more fragile recovery that contains isolated setbacks and takes longer, but still reflects an extension of the current global trajectory;
  • prolonged pandemic where the search for a vaccine proves elusive, herd immunity does not successfully contain transmission and multiple re-infection waves result.

Under the first of these scenarios, the timeframe for early Asian/Australasian re-opening moves from July/August 2020 to November 2020, while core markets (the UK, Germany and the US) can only be expected to return after April 2021.

The second scenario paints an even bleaker picture, with international outbound travel from Asia picking up between May and July 2021 and travel from core markets only returning from November 2021.

“In both of the more pessimistic scenarios, the 2020/21 summer season will be seriously affected, with even the following year’s peak months being under threat.

“This will have grave implications for supply-side survival. Given the modelling outputs and qualitative data emerging from the market, however, the stronger international recovery scenario remains the core outlook,” the department said.

It added that containment of the virus ultimately requires effective treatment and vaccine lead times will be a key indicator of the duration of the stabilisation phase.

This will inform visa policies and port of entry protocols as countries without sufficient herd immunity or access to treatment will seek to limit viral vectors, it said.

“In the interim, temporary and semi-permanent restrictions on traveller mobility are inevitable and unlikely to be standardised across markets.

“Measures such as immunity certification, pre- and post-travel quarantine and mandatory visitor tracking will reassure travellers but also impede the visitor experience”


South Africa

The document notes that South Africa’s pandemic curve thus far resembles the ‘plateau’ shape of countries such as South Korea, Australia and Singapore more than it does the ‘exponential growth’ experience of China, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The implication is therefore that, having successfully ‘flattened the curve’ to prevent health services from being overwhelmed, the country now faces a more prolonged, but less acute battle against the pandemic, the department said.

Using the above model it used for foreign countries, it produced the three following scenarios for South Africa:

  • strong recovery scenario where South Africa is able to contemplate re-opening in August;
  • A fragile recovery scenario, where the horizon shifts out to November 2020;
  • low-road, prolonged crisis scenario where the pandemic rages well into 2021.

Citing data from the South African Covid-19 modelling consortium, the department said that the country is on track for a ‘middle-road recovery’.

Under this outlook, South Africa recovers slower than many other parts of the world but does not lag far behind key source markets in Europe and North America.

“It is therefore likely that tourism recovery will experience a number of phases, from hyper-local community attractions, through broader domestic tourism, followed potentially by regional land and air markets, and then the resumption of world-wide international travel,” the department said.

“The implementation of the government’s risk-adjusted strategy is based on sector-level risk assessments that consider transmission risk across a number of dimensions, including; age of workforce, remote working potential, ability to enforce health and safety regulations and travel considerations of employees.”

 

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].

South African COVID-19 Travel Info in One Place: Allowances, Requirements, Forms, Airports, and Processes

South Africa is still under certain COVID-19 lock-down travel restrictions, and Travelstart South Africa has been kind enough to publish a wealth of information about this on their website. The below information is courtesy of their page.

  • Business Reasons: Any person carrying out work responsibilities or performing any service permitted under Level 3, provided that such person is in possession of a permit issued by the employer
  • Moving to a new place of residence
  • Moving to care for an immediate family member
  • Members of Parliament performing oversight responsibilities
  • Learners and students who are travelling to schools or institutions when they are permitted
  • Attending a funeral
  • Transportation of mortal remains
  • Obtaining medical treatment
  • Persons who are returning to their place of residence from a quarantine or isolation facility
  • Any movement permitted under regulation 41

Please see this link for further details on Disaster Management Act: Regulations: Alert level 3 during Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown. Domestic passenger air travel is not permitted for recreational, leisure or tourism purposes. All international passenger flights are prohibited except for those flights authorised by the Minister of Transport for the repatriation of South African Nationals from foreign countries and evacuation of foreign nationals from South Africa.

  • Face mask
  • Photo ID – ID Book, South African Driver’s Licence or Passport. Children must have a Birth Certificate or a certified copy of a Birth Certificate no older than 3 months. (This does not need to be an Unabridged Birth Certificate)
  • Copy of E-Ticket AND boarding pass
  • Health Declaration Document from the Department of Health
  • Travel Permit – see forms below

These forms must be completed before your arrival at the airport. Failure to produce the completed forms may result in denied boarding, resulting in your ticket being non-refundable.

Health Declaration
Employer Permit
Student Inter-provincial Travel
Permit to Transport Students
Funeral Attendance
Inter-provincial Relocation

The following airports are open for domestic air travel:

  • Arrive a minimum of 2.5 hours prior to your flight departure.
  • It is recommended that you check in online prior to departure (to minimise contact, queues and waiting time).
  • Only passengers are allowed to enter the airport, no visitors will be allowed entry.
  • Expect maximum safety protocols to be applied throughout your journey.

For a global interactive travel regulations map, visit Travelstart South Africa’s website 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].

India Has Moved to COVID Phase Unlock 2.0 As Of 1 July 2020

Lynn Mackenzie, J.D., LLM.
(Courtesy of Shradha Mithal, Resettle).

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, announced further relaxations in Unlock 2.0 that begins on 1st July 2020.

However, states and union territories have been given the power to further prohibit certain activities outside of containment zones within their respective states.

Macroeconomic indicators such as consumption of fuel and electricity, mobility, and retail financial transactions have seen an uptick.

The broad guidelines of Unlock 2.0 include:
• Domestic flights will be further expanded while international air travel will continue in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat repatriation mission.
• Night curfew timings are being further relaxed and will be now in force from 10 pm to 5 am. The exception being essential activities.
• Apart from curbs in containment zones, there will be no restriction on “inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods”.
• Metro rail, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls, and similar places to remain shut
• Ban remains on social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions, and other large congregations.
• Schools and colleges remain shut till 31st July 2020
• The number of persons allowed inside a shop at a time had been limited to five.

Wearing of masks, social distancing (6 feet), and maintaining general hygiene is encouraged. Work from home as far as possible is to be followed.

For more information about the above, please see this PDF document.

The content of this article is provided for general information purposes. The provision of this article does not constitute legal advice or opinion of any kind; no advisory or fiduciary relationship is created between Relocation Africa and any other person accessing or using this article. Relocation Africa will not be liable for any damages or loss arising from using any part of this article.

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].

South African Department of Home Affairs Update Issued

DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, JUNE 10TH 2020.

Lynn Mackenzie, J.D., LLM

Dr. Pakishe Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa, has issued the following directions in Government Gazette No. 43162, Government Notice No. 416 of 26 March 2020, as amended by Government Notice No. R. 518 of 9 May 2020, hereby, in terms of regulation 4(8), read with regulation 4(10) of the Regulations made in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002) and published in Government Gazette No. 43258, Government Notice No. 480 of 29 April 2020, as amended by Government Notice No. 608 of 28 May 2020;

  1. TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR CITIZENS AND PERMANENT RESIDENTS

South African citizens have been advised to, for the duration of the national disaster;

(a) Refrain from non-essential travel to high risk countries; and
(b) Exercise caution in relation to any other travel outside the Republic.

15.2 A South African citizen contemplated in regulation 41(2)(d) of the Regulations who, at own cost and subject to the capacity available on international flights permitted for evacuation and repatriation, intends to travel to his or her place of employment, study or residence outside of the Republic must provide the Department of Home Affairs, at least five working days in advance of the intended date of travel, with –

(a) a copy of his or her valid South African passport;
(b) a letter of confirmation of admissibility or the validity of the visa or permit,
Issued by the relevant diplomatic or consular mission or authority of the receiving country;

(c) Where transiting through another country, proof of permission to transit through such country; and
(d) Proof of the means of travel and the intended date of departure,
The Department when considering the request to leave the Republic may authenticate the information.

15.3 A South African citizen or a permanent resident who, for any reason, has been outside the Republic during the period of the national state of disaster must for purposes of admission, upon his or her return to the Republic, be subjected to such prescribed screening or examination procedure as the immigration officer, in consultation with a port health official or medical practitioner, may determine, and must be referred for isolation or quarantine, as the case may be.”

17E. SERVICES TO BE RENDERED BY DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS UNDER ALERT LEVEL 3

The Department of Home Affairs will render the following additional services during Alert Level 3 of the period of the national state of disaster, in addition to the services mentioned in paragraph 17D:

(a) Late registration of birth; and
(b) Solemnization and registration of marriages”.

DECLARATION OF UNDESIRABILITY

21.1 A person whose visa has expired from 15 March 2020 and has remained in the Republic during the period of the national state of disaster will not be declared an undesirable person in terms of the Immigration Act, 2002 upon leaving the Republic during the period of the national state of disaster up to and including 31 July 2020.

21.2 Any declaration of undesirability that has been issued to any person who departed the Republic on or after 15 March 2020 is hereby set aside.

The content of this document is provided for general information purposes. The provision of this document does not constitute legal
advice or opinion of any kind; no advisory or fiduciary relationship is created between Relocation Africa and any other person
accessing or using this document. Relocation Africa will not be liable for any damages or loss arising from using any part of
this document.

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].