Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has gazetted the new travel regulations in line with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s national address on Monday evening.
Ramaphosa has extended level 3 lockdown until the country passes the peak of new infections, not specifying when the new regulations would lapse. Following reports of an influx of travellers looking to get back into South Africa, and fake Covid-19 tests being presented, the president announced that the country’s 20 borders would be closed until mid-February, with only limited entry and exit available.
Below is what you need to know regarding the travel regulations
Travel into and out of the country will be permitted for:
- The transportation of fuel, cargo and goods
- Emergency medical attention for life-threatening conditions – with proof of such a condition
- The return of South African nationals, permanent residents, or persons with valid visas
- Departure of foreign nationals
- Daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend school in South Africa. A person may apply for emergency travel at the Department of Home Affairs
International air travel is restricted to OR Tambo International Airport, King Shaka International Airport and Cape Town International Airport and travellers must provide a valid certificate of a negative Covid-19 test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel.
All commercial seaports will remain open and small crafts will be allowed entry into seaports, in line with all health and border law-enforcement protocols. Foreign nationals in the country, with visas that have expired and were automatically extended to 31 January 2021 due to their inability to travel during the lockdown, will have their visas automatically extended to 31 March 2021.
- A foreign tourist who arrived in the country prior to the commencement of this regulation will have his or her visa automatically extended to 31 March 2021.
- Every person is confined to his or her place of residence from 9pm until 5am daily, unless they have been granted permission or attending to a security or medical emergency.
- Closing time for cinemas, theatres and others places of entertainment, whether indoors or outdoors, is 8pm.
- Gatherings at cinemas and theatres are limited to 50 persons or less for indoor venues and 100 persons or less for outdoor venues and if the venue is too small to hold the prescribed number of persons observing a distance of at least one and a half metres from each other.
- Attendance of a funeral is limited to a maximum of 50 persons, with night vigils prohibited.
- After-funeral gatherings. including “after- tears” gatherings, are not allowed.
- The duration of a funeral is restricted to a maximum of two hours.
- Beaches that are open to the public in non-hotspots, such as in the Northern Cape, shall only be open between 6am and 7pm.
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde