South Africa reopens to international travel
Risk categorisation model implemented
After months of lockdown, South Africa has reopened its borders to international travellers. The move was especially welcomed by the country’s travel sector, especially hard hit by stringent restrictions imposed on under lockdown. The reopening follows a decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the country would be move to alert level one as of Oct. 1st, thus opening up international borders for selected countries.
South Africa has developed a risk categorisation model for different countries. High-risk countries are those with higher numbers of Covid-19 infections and deaths compared to South Africa. Medium-risk countries have relatively equal numbers of infections and deaths whilst low-risk countries have lesser numbers.
All travellers entering the country must provide a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) Covid-19 test not older than 72 hours from their departure date. Travellers will also be screened for Covid-19 symptoms and be obliged to provide accommodation addresses should self-quarantine be required.
“While many of our key source markets feature in the high-risk category, meaning that they are not able to travel to South Africa for leisure purposes yet, the environment is fluid and changes constantly,” said South Africa Tourism chief executive Sisa Ntshona. “We remain optimistic and encouraged by the gradual phased opening of our sector and we will monitor the changes regularly, as the country lists are reviewed every two weeks.”
Measures have also been initiated to mitigate the risk of a second wave of the virus by improving contact tracing and isolation measures. One is the introduction the COVID-Alert APP, alerting subscribers and providing relevant information if they have been in contact with anyone testing positive.