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South Africa - entry restrictions and rules [merged thread]

South Africa - entry restrictions and rules [merged thread]

Old Nov 17, 20, 9:50 am
  #766  
 
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Originally Posted by thijsseh View Post
The agent at the check in desk at LHR T5 for BA57 on 14/11 very carefully scrutinised our certificates which showed the time the swab was taken, the time it arrived at the lab, the time the result was available and the time the certificate was sent to me. I am pretty (99%) sure she looks for the time the swab was taken.
The person checking the certificate at the entrance to the immigration queue at JNB was far less thorough (as 'officials' in this part of the world tend to be).
Indeed, and I will add that from reports I heard BA is one of the "strictest" airlines when it comes to it, take for example by checking for a travel insurance even though it was never gazetted as a requirement, on the other hand for example KLM advertised the below:
WHAT IS REQUIRED OF ALL TRAVELLERS TO ENTER SOUTH AFRICA?
All travellers are strongly advised to bring a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, not older than 72 hours prior to the start of their travel. If the traveller fails to present a valid test certificate upon arrival in South Africa, the traveller will be required to do a mandatory quarantine at his/her own cost at a designated hotel.
https://www.klm.com/travel/za_en/pre...strictions.htm

Last edited by NewbieRunner; Nov 17, 20 at 4:59 pm Reason: Font size
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Old Nov 18, 20, 12:44 pm
  #767  
 
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Originally Posted by stuarto View Post
So it seems PCR is safest option to fly, has anyone over 60 managed to get non FCO list travel insurance that covers covid emergency treatment ( if that is still required after the latest statements)??

I've tried battleface but 59 seems to be the max..

This is getting too hard with less than 3 weeks to go before departure to CPT
We purchased insurance from here:
High Risk Voyager Travel Insurance
They seem to insure all ages, at least when I tried a quote just now. Whilst we are in our 40s, they provided cover to non FCO destinations and with pre-existing conditions (with some caveats on the conditions).

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Old Nov 18, 20, 12:52 pm
  #768  
 
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For those in the US, I just got a very reasonable quote from aardy.com (Aardvark Insurance). I called their toll free number and the agent who answered my call did a customized quote for our upcoming South Africa trip. They had no hesitation covering me and I am well over 70 (but not over 75).

In all transparency ... I have never done business with them before and I'll be doing some research to verify that they are a reputable business before actually sending in a payment. And I would advise anyone else to do their research first.
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Old Nov 18, 20, 2:06 pm
  #769  
 
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
Technically speaking the gazette doesn't specify either, but of course you also have no control on when the swab is actually processed, so best would be to test within 72 hours.
I'm not sure a swab collected Friday evening would be much different to one collected Saturday morning.

Having had to look at the gazette again I also realized it is saying "Polymerase Chain Reaction ( "PCR ") test certificate or a valid COVID -19 negative test certificate" which would actually suggest other types of tests should also be allowed, however in all press releases/briefings a PCR test was mentioned to be required.

I would say at the end of the day it's all about risk management, if you get a PCR swab done in <72hrs to your flight, you are guaranteed to have no issues, anything else and you risk not allowed to board your flight due to how an airline (employee) interprets the regulations.
Righto, so I think I've got travel insurance with covid cover, arranging a PCR test to suit the departure.. So now that it's official international travel can happen, do we need a visa if a UK resident? Must admit I'd totally forgotten about that side of it.. I maybe paranoid but it's so close now that I'm just waiting for a curved ball..
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Old Nov 19, 20, 1:31 am
  #770  
 
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Originally Posted by stuarto View Post
Righto, so I think I've got travel insurance with covid cover, arranging a PCR test to suit the departure.. So now that it's official international travel can happen, do we need a visa if a UK resident? Must admit I'd totally forgotten about that side of it.. I maybe paranoid but it's so close now that I'm just waiting for a curved ball..
If you are a UK Citizen, no visa is needed and you get the usual 90 days on arrival, I'm not aware of anything special for UK residents if you are a citizen of a country that would usually require a visa.
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Old Nov 19, 20, 5:41 am
  #771  
 
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Aardvark Insurance is reputable and is one of the providers that my tour company recommended. I ended up going with a different company simply because my tour company said they had a close relationship with them and could be of greater assistance if I needed to file a claim.
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Old Nov 19, 20, 9:11 am
  #772  
 
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Originally Posted by nsoltz View Post
Aardvark Insurance is reputable and is one of the providers that my tour company recommended. I ended up going with a different company simply because my tour company said they had a close relationship with them and could be of greater assistance if I needed to file a claim.
The actual company issuing the policy is Trawick. Have you worked with them before?
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Old Nov 19, 20, 6:57 pm
  #773  
 
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My policy is a Trawick policy and my tour operator says Trawick is the best. It is just a different agent that he recommended. Oddly enough, I priced the Trawick policy directly but the Travel Safe policy seemed to have more options. Operator said that different agents often have different arrangements and offerings with specific carriers. It was simply that he had a good relationship with Travel Safe and could be more of an advocate if I needed to collect on the policy. I bought cancellation without any reason which, while it only pays 75%, it is still better than losing 100%.
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Old Nov 20, 20, 12:24 am
  #774  
 
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I see many discussing travel insurance, so I wanted to make sure that travel insurance was not mandatory before finalizing plans. Is it required for travel to SA? Thanks
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Old Nov 20, 20, 2:05 am
  #775  
 
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Originally Posted by brewdog11 View Post
I see many discussing travel insurance, so I wanted to make sure that travel insurance was not mandatory before finalizing plans. Is it required for travel to SA? Thanks
When the announcements were made that international borders were reopening, there was mention in the press releases that foreign travellers would need insurance that would cover the costs of quarantine, if the traveller showed symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus on arrival. Actually, the Gazette (the legislation) only requires that the passenger be quarantined "at his or her cost": https://www.gov.za/sites/default/fil...97gon1199s.pdf

For visitors from the UK the difficulty is that the UK FCDO is still maintaining their advice against all but essential travel, which places most high-street insurance policies invalid. I personally would never travel without insurance that covers medical and repatriation at a minimum.
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Old Nov 20, 20, 8:00 am
  #776  
 
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Originally Posted by konagirl2 View Post
When the announcements were made that international borders were reopening, there was mention in the press releases that foreign travellers would need insurance that would cover the costs of quarantine, if the traveller showed symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus on arrival. Actually, the Gazette (the legislation) only requires that the passenger be quarantined "at his or her cost": https://www.gov.za/sites/default/fil...97gon1199s.pdf

For visitors from the UK the difficulty is that the UK FCDO is still maintaining their advice against all but essential travel, which places most high-street insurance policies invalid. I personally would never travel without insurance that covers medical and repatriation at a minimum.
+1 ... I have been on business trips where both local medical travel insurance and medical repatriation travel was required (not by me luckily!!). If the traveller did not have this coverage, the results would have been devastating for that traveller.

If it develops that the government of South Africa does not require documentation of a policy that covers COVID-19 treatment, there are other countries that have started requiring this and I feel it is a good standard for purchasing this type of insurance.
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Old Nov 20, 20, 9:24 am
  #777  
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Probably OT, but as C-19 vaccine seems to be in prospect for 2021, I was idly wondering how that will impact Immigration rules?
1. Will a Certificate absolve the 72h PCR swab requirement?
2. What sort of Certificate will be provided, if any?
3. Which Nation will accept what?!

I see further complexities and bureaucracy on the far horizon!! 😢
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Old Nov 20, 20, 10:25 am
  #778  
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Although no one has any idea, I think that we are going to go back to the future. Many of us remember having to carry Yellow Fever certificates in order to travel between various parts of the World. While something that those in the "West" may have never dealt with they were a regular part of travel and were WHO, etc approved. I envision a modern adaptation of that whereby when people are vaccinated with approved vaccines in an approved way and properly logged by a national authority that they will probably have the option for either a card based certification or perhaps some sort of smart/number/locator/authenticator.
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Old Nov 20, 20, 10:59 am
  #779  
 
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
Although no one has any idea, I think that we are going to go back to the future. Many of us remember having to carry Yellow Fever certificates in order to travel between various parts of the World. While something that those in the "West" may have never dealt with they were a regular part of travel and were WHO, etc approved. I envision a modern adaptation of that whereby when people are vaccinated with approved vaccines in an approved way and properly logged by a national authority that they will probably have the option for either a card based certification or perhaps some sort of smart/number/locator/authenticator.
I have an up to date WHO/CDC "International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis". Assuming a COVID-19 vaccine is released in the near future (and does not seem to have many/any negative side effects), I plan on getting it and will make sure it is logged properly. Along with the vaccinations for other diseases that I keep current (Typhus, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, etc).
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Old Nov 20, 20, 12:19 pm
  #780  
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
Although no one has any idea, I think that we are going to go back to the future. Many of us remember having to carry Yellow Fever certificates in order to travel between various parts of the World. While something that those in the "West" may have never dealt with they were a regular part of travel and were WHO, etc approved. I envision a modern adaptation of that whereby when people are vaccinated with approved vaccines in an approved way and properly logged by a national authority that they will probably have the option for either a card based certification or perhaps some sort of smart/number/locator/authenticator.
In this respect, my wife proudly produced her RAF vaccination booklet/certificates dating back to the 70s. Why I had never seen or retained mine, I have absolutely no idea!!
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