South Africa opens borders on October 1 to resume international travel

South Africa will move to Level 1 of lockdown on September 21, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during a briefing on September 16. He has also opened borders from October 1, for inbound and outbound international leisure travel – with restrictions.

The country will gradually and cautiously return to international travel from October 1 but will be restricted to and from certain countries with high infection rates, Ramaphosa said.

The King Shaka, OR Tambo and Cape Town International airports will be open for international flights.

On arrival, travellers must present a negative COVID-19 test from no longer than 72 hours prior to departure. Those who do not, will be put under mandatory quarantine at their own cost. Travellers will be screened and those presenting symptoms must also quarantined.

‘It is time to move to what we will call our new normal,’ Ramaphosa said. ‘It is time to remove as many restrictions on the economic and social activity as it is safe to do.’

The curfew has also been relaxed, and will now be from midnight to 4am and alcohol will be sold from retailers from Monday to Friday and on-site until midnight.

From March 2020, over 15 000 people in the country have died due to the virus and over 650,000 infections were recorded. South Africa’s infection rate is steadily decreasing, but Ramaphosa emphasised the necessity to avoid a second wave of the virus.

He also encouraged citizens to download the new coronavirus tracking app called ‘COVID Alert South Africa‘, which will aid in effective tracing should a user be exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

More details will be provided by relevant Ministers in the following weeks.

Image credit: Screenshot from live briefing

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International travel to resume, high-risk countries excluded

International travel to resume, high-risk countries excluded

South Africans may travel to and from all African countries, although countries outside of the continent may be temporarily banned from October 1 when international travel resumes. Countries with high infection rates will not be open to South Africans until their infection rate lowers.

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The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, made this announcement on Friday [September 18] during a media briefing on the regulations relating to the COVID-19 Level 1 restrictions.

Here are the key points from her address:

International travel:

Borders will reopen on October 1. International travel is allowed to and from all countries on the African continent and countries outside the continent with a low rate of COVID-19 infection, subject to:

– the traveler providing a valid certificate of a negative test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel; and

– in the event of the traveler’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative test, the traveler will be required to quarantine at his or her own costs.

To temporarily control entry into the Republic from countries outside the African Continent, the relevant Cabinet members shall, after consultation with the Cabinet member responsible for health, determine in directions

– criteria for controlling entry into the Republic, from such countries with a high COVID -19 infection and transmission rate;

– the list of such countries with a high COVID -19 infection and transmission rate, which list may, from time to time, be amended.

– International travel from countries listed as having a high COVID -19 infection and transmission rate, will remain prohibited except for business travel which may be allowed with the approval of the Cabinet member responsible for home affairs.

For other international travel, a schedule will be drawn up and may change at any time. Countries with high infection rates will not be allowed to enter until their infections come under control.

Visa applications will reopen and long-term visas will be re-established from October 1.

Only three airports will fly internationally: OR Tambo International, King Shaka International and Cape Town International. All commercial seaports will reopen, but not for tourists. Passenger ships are still closed, cruise ships are not allowed to offload people onto South African shores.

The already open 18 land borders will reopen for movement of tourists, and the other 35 will remain closed.

Funerals:

Funerals move from 50 maximum to 100 maximum capacity. If the venue is small and cannot contain 100 people with 1.5-metre distance between people, it must operate at half-capacity. Night vigils are still prohibited and health protocols remain in place.

Gatherings:

Religious gatherings may go ahead with a maximum of 250 people in a venue. If the venue is too small to accommodate social distancing regulations, it must run at half-capacity. The same applies for social gatherings. Outdoor venues may not host more than 500 people.

Night clubs and sports spectators are still not allowed. Initiation schools remain closed, although government will discuss further with religious leaders.

Residents must still wear a mask whenever in public.

Gyms:

Gyms and fitness centres are allowed no more than 50% of the venue’s capacity.

International travel to resume, high-risk countries excluded

International travel to resume, high-risk countries excluded

South Africans may travel to and from all African countries, although countries outside of the continent may be temporarily banned from October 1 when international travel resumes. Countries with high infection rates will not be open to South Africans until their infection rate lowers.

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The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, made this announcement on Friday [September 18] during a media briefing on the regulations relating to the COVID-19 Level 1 restrictions.

Here are the key points from her address:

International travel:

Borders will reopen on October 1. International travel is allowed to and from all countries on the African continent and countries outside the continent with a low rate of COVID-19 infection, subject to:

– the traveler providing a valid certificate of a negative test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel; and

– in the event of the traveler’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative test, the traveler will be required to quarantine at his or her own costs.

To temporarily control entry into the Republic from countries outside the African Continent, the relevant Cabinet members shall, after consultation with the Cabinet member responsible for health, determine in directions

– criteria for controlling entry into the Republic, from such countries with a high COVID -19 infection and transmission rate;

– the list of such countries with a high COVID -19 infection and transmission rate, which list may, from time to time, be amended.

– International travel from countries listed as having a high COVID -19 infection and transmission rate, will remain prohibited except for business travel which may be allowed with the approval of the Cabinet member responsible for home affairs.

For other international travel, a schedule will be drawn up and may change at any time. Countries with high infection rates will not be allowed to enter until their infections come under control.

Visa applications will reopen and long-term visas will be re-established from October 1.

Only three airports will fly internationally: OR Tambo International, King Shaka International and Cape Town International. All commercial seaports will reopen, but not for tourists. Passenger ships are still closed, cruise ships are not allowed to offload people onto South African shores.

The already open 18 land borders will reopen for movement of tourists, and the other 35 will remain closed.

Funerals:

Funerals move from 50 maximum to 100 maximum capacity. If the venue is small and cannot contain 100 people with 1.5-metre distance between people, it must operate at half-capacity. Night vigils are still prohibited and health protocols remain in place.

Gatherings:

Religious gatherings may go ahead with a maximum of 250 people in a venue. If the venue is too small to accommodate social distancing regulations, it must run at half-capacity. The same applies for social gatherings. Outdoor venues may not host more than 500 people.

Night clubs and sports spectators are still not allowed. Initiation schools remain closed, although government will discuss further with religious leaders.

Residents must still wear a mask whenever in public.

Gyms:

Gyms and fitness centres are allowed no more than 50% of the venue’s capacity.

Source https://www.getaway.co.za/travel-news/south-africa-opens-borders-resumes-international-travel/

Source https://www.capetownetc.com/news/international-travel-allowed-to-and-from-within-the-continent/

Source https://www.capetownetc.com/news/international-travel-allowed-to-and-from-within-the-continent/

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