South Africa will reopen its international borders for travellers from the African continent from 1 October 2020.
The decision to open up the country’s borders to Africa is in a bid to facilitate the free movement of people, goods and services from South Africa, SADC and the rest of the continent.
“Travellers from all African countries are allowed and must possess relevant travel documents, and will also be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. To allow ease of travel from the African countries, 18 borders will be opened.
“Thirty-five border posts will continue to offer restricted services due to insufficient capacity for screening, testing and quarantine,” said International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor.
The Minister – together with her colleagues from the Home Affairs, Transport and Tourism departments – fleshed out details for international travel on Wednesday during a briefing on the easing of international travel restrictions.
The briefing comes as South Africa moved to alert level 1 on 21 September 2020 as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Travellers who present themselves at borders which are unable to accommodate them will be directed to the currently operational border posts for processing.
Daily commuters who reside in cross-border towns and those who are from neighbouring countries, including those with relevant work permits and school children and teachers, will be allowed to enter and exit the borders for work purposes.
Commuters will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and where necessary will be subjected to quarantine and isolation. Furthermore, these commuters will be expected to wear facemasks, wash hands and sanitise regularly and practise social distancing measures.
To facilitate the ease of transportation of goods and medicines to and from the country, ships will be allowed to dock, load and off-load cargo.
Crew members from the cargo ships will be allowed to crew changes. These crew members will also be medically screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
Passenger liners for luxury travel are still not allowed to dock and off-load passengers.
“We want to appeal to all travellers and tourists for cooperation and increased vigilance in observing all the health and hygiene protocols we have announced today so that we stop the spread of COVID-19. Even though we celebrate the reduced numbers of infections, there is still no vaccine to the virus.
“We should continue to protect ourselves and those who are close to us from the devastating effects of this pandemic. We call on international travellers to enjoy the diverse tourist attractions of this country and to meet our friendly hospitable people,” said the Minister.