SUMMARY: Transport Minister clarifies COVID-19 regulations

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula clarified some international travel regulations on Friday.

International travel resumed on Thursday after an almost six-month ban.

Travellers visiting the country are expected to produce a negative COVID-19 test from an accredited laboratory not older than 72 hours.

Visitors travelling for leisure from 64 countries will not be allowed into the country. These countries include the UK, US, Russia and France.

READ: SA Lockdown: Strict international travel rules announced

Mbalula said South Africans are not prohibited to travel for leisure, however, the government discourages it.

"The responsibility is upon each and everyone of us using the civil aviation network to ensure that we adhere to the set standards issued by several government departments," Mbalula said.

Some of the regulations explained during the briefing were around specifics of safe flights.

An “immunity passport”, “risk-free certificate” or “passport immunity” in respect of COVID-19 is not acceptable.

READ: Debate swirls on use of virus 'immunity passports'

Passengers are required to wear face masks at all times and may only remove face masks during emergencies or when instructed by cabin crew to take them off.

Flight operators will be allowed to provide catering on flights with health and safety measures in place.

A child under the age of two years may be exempted from wearing a face mask.

READ: Tourism industry welcomes international travel decision

A passenger who is unable to wear a face mask due to an underlying medical condition must submit a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner to the flight operator prior to departure.

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

In the event of the passenger’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative PCR test certificate or a valid COVID-19 negative test certificate upon arrival in South Africa, the passenger shall be subjected to a compulsory quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own cost.


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