In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated travel restrictions, Health Minister Zwele Mkhize has clarified South Africa’s current travel and quarantine rules. Under South Africa’s current level 1 lockdown restrictions, there are several rules in place for foreigners arriving into South Africa, as well as those South African citizens arriving back and who cannot currently self-quarantine at home.
What happens to those who can’t self-quarantine at home due to insufficient space, but also can’t afford to pay for government quarantine in a 4-star hotel?
South Africans who are unable to self-quarantine at home will be directed to a state-run facility where they will be able to quarantine. There is no charge for this facility.
Do students from other countries have to undergo weekly Covid-19 tests in line with level 1 regulations?
Daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend or teach at a school in the Republic, as well as children below the age of five years, are exempted from the provisions of subparagraph (3)(b), but must comply with the re-entry requirements set out by the Department of Home Affairs.
If someone is visiting an accepted overseas destinations on holiday but can’t access Covid-19 testing overseas, what should they do when they return?
These people would need to quarantine for 10 days, or alternatively do a PCR test immediately upon entry into South Africa. Once the results are available these people can apply for early release from quarantine, the period for this is process can be between 24 to 72 hours.
Under South Africa’s level 1 lockdown rules, travellers arriving in South Africa will be screened for any Covid-19 symptoms as well as contact with people who have been in contact with others who could have had Covid-19.
Travellers arriving back in South Africa will also need to provide proof of accommodation addresses in case they need to self-isolate. Those who are found to have Covid-19 after entering the country will be required to isolate for 10 days at their own cost.
Do people visiting accepted overseas destinations on holiday have to apply for self-quarantine before their return?
No they don’t, as requirements and procedures for level one have changed aligning with easing of lockdown restrictions. People returning into the country will need to produce negative PCR tests that are not older than 72 hours from date of travel.
What is the latest list of high risk countries from where travellers will not be allowed to enter South Africa?
The Department of Home Affairs published its updated list of high-risk countries on 19 October.
Leisure travellers from high-risk countries will not be permitted to enter South Africa. The exception to this is business travellers with scarce and critical skills including diplomats, repatriated persons, investors and people participating in professional sporting and events. These people will undergo the same health protocol screenings as South African citizens.
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