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South Africa - entry restrictions and rules [merged thread]

South Africa - entry restrictions and rules [merged thread]

Old Nov 30, 20, 10:39 am
  #826  
 
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Correct ex JHB, but a few will be positioning flights only returning to a full service the following day. Your dates should be fine.
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Old Dec 1, 20, 1:13 am
  #827  
 
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Question re: signed pcr test results

Getting ready to fly to Jnb on 24 dec from the states on QR and everything is sorted except the tests. The ZA verbiage no longer states that test results need to be signed but some websites are using the text from Octoberís gazette that states certificates SHOULD be signed, not must be signed.

Iíve seen several peopleís test results in the states and none of them had any signatures. All had names of lab techs or directors of the lab, but I have not seen any hand signed test results. Can someone confirm if theyíve been able to enter Za with a test cert that was not signed? Friends in ZA also state none of their test results were ever signed as well. Iím planning to use a mail in kit, as well as a visit to CVS and perhaps Walgreens to increase chances of getting results back within the 72 hr window.

Thanks for any guidance!
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Old Dec 1, 20, 1:25 am
  #828  
 
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Travel insurance?

Sorry for the add on post, but as it relates to travel insurance the latest gazette does not have anything mentioning insurance being required. Has that been confirmed or are the airlines checking for proof of insurance . I find it odd that it was required in the first place. itís not like Za will bill your insurer correct? You still would have to pay out of pocket and then get reimbursed, so Za isnít at risk of you not paying at time of quarantine are they?
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Old Dec 1, 20, 2:13 am
  #829  
 
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Originally Posted by LufthansaFlyer View Post
I have not seen any hand signed test results. Can someone confirm if theyíve been able to enter Za with a test cert that was not signed?
Yes.
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Old Dec 1, 20, 2:47 am
  #830  
 
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Originally Posted by LufthansaFlyer View Post
Sorry for the add on post, but as it relates to travel insurance the latest gazette does not have anything mentioning insurance being required. Has that been confirmed or are the airlines checking for proof of insurance . I find it odd that it was required in the first place. itís not like Za will bill your insurer correct? You still would have to pay out of pocket and then get reimbursed, so Za isnít at risk of you not paying at time of quarantine are they?
Some airlines do (BA for example), some airlines don't (KL for example)
As for the requirement itself, putting aside whether insurance policy will even cover such thing (most won't anyway), I suppose they are trying to avoid situations where someone shows up and cannot afford to cover it, the 'facilities' being used are usually 4 or 5* hotels which could be charging upwards of R1,000 per night, and you need 10 of those.
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Old Dec 1, 20, 6:02 am
  #831  
 
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Originally Posted by B747-437B View Post
Yes.
thanks!
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Old Dec 1, 20, 6:32 am
  #832  
 
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Different language from Qatar Airways re 72 hour window

In searching around QRs website I came across their page for entry requirements based on destination and for travel to South Africa there is this excerpt:
  • All arriving travellers through air or land borders will need to show a negative COVID-19 test certificate issued within the last 72-hours prior to their arrival. Otherwise, they will be subject to quarantine at a government facility at their own expense. Travellers aged below five years are exempted from this requirement.

    this goes against everything that Iíve read elsewhere, including the gazette ans the information shared on this thread. So frustrating that there is no standard policy across all platforms.

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Old Dec 1, 20, 7:20 pm
  #833  
 
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Originally Posted by B747-437B View Post
Yes.
Thanks again for the answer. Another question popped up in my head..... As it relates to the COVID alert app that it is required to be installed, do you need to show that on your phone as part of the screening process in JNB or do they just take your word for it? My fear is that when I start the app in front of an inspector in JNB, if somewhere, somehow I was exposed to someone who reported on the app as having COVID from the time I deplaned in JNB and walked to passport control, would that force me to quarantine? It should be unlikely since passengers wouldn't be at a point to start getting alerts from the environment, but what if I walk by one of the airport staff who may have used the app to alert others to their COVID exposure.

I'm thinking I should shut off blue tooth on the phone until I'm past that inspection point if one even exists, or keep it shut off unless they ask to verify it. I'd be curious to see how they handle someone who doesn't have a phone. In my wife's case she's not bringing her phone since she has no use for it in ZA.
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Old Dec 2, 20, 12:20 am
  #834  
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Originally Posted by LufthansaFlyer View Post
Thanks again for the answer. Another question popped up in my head..... As it relates to the COVID alert app that it is required to be installed, do you need to show that on your phone as part of the screening process in JNB or do they just take your word for it? My fear is that when I start the app in front of an inspector in JNB, if somewhere, somehow I was exposed to someone who reported on the app as having COVID from the time I deplaned in JNB and walked to passport control, would that force me to quarantine? It should be unlikely since passengers wouldn't be at a point to start getting alerts from the environment, but what if I walk by one of the airport staff who may have used the app to alert others to their COVID exposure.

I'm thinking I should shut off blue tooth on the phone until I'm past that inspection point if one even exists, or keep it shut off unless they ask to verify it. I'd be curious to see how they handle someone who doesn't have a phone. In my wife's case she's not bringing her phone since she has no use for it in ZA.
My own experience (plus hearsay from others) is that no-one asks anything about that app. I arrived into JNB just over two weeks ago, I had dutifully installed it on my phone. If you are concerned, I would suggest you disable Bluetooth as you mention. And as you say, possession of a smartphone can hardly be a requirement so enforcement is difficult to say the least!

On your other post: the requirement is to have a negative Covid test of a sample which was taken less than 72 hours before you started your itinerary (i.e. the departure date / time of the first flight on your PNR). They do check your certificate but I am not at all sure how closely they examine it.
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Old Dec 2, 20, 12:44 am
  #835  
 
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Originally Posted by LufthansaFlyer View Post
Thanks again for the answer. Another question popped up in my head..... As it relates to the COVID alert app that it is required to be installed, do you need to show that on your phone as part of the screening process in JNB or do they just take your word for it? My fear is that when I start the app in front of an inspector in JNB, if somewhere, somehow I was exposed to someone who reported on the app as having COVID from the time I deplaned in JNB and walked to passport control, would that force me to quarantine? It should be unlikely since passengers wouldn't be at a point to start getting alerts from the environment, but what if I walk by one of the airport staff who may have used the app to alert others to their COVID exposure.

I'm thinking I should shut off blue tooth on the phone until I'm past that inspection point if one even exists, or keep it shut off unless they ask to verify it. I'd be curious to see how they handle someone who doesn't have a phone. In my wife's case she's not bringing her phone since she has no use for it in ZA.
Given that the app is only for ZA, and you need a code from the health services to trigger a notification (which you only get if you tested positive in the first place), I don't see how that can happen.
Nonetheless as others mentioned, nobody actually checks it.
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Old Dec 2, 20, 12:41 pm
  #836  
 
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
Given that the app is only for ZA, and you need a code from the health services to trigger a notification (which you only get if you tested positive in the first place), I don't see how that can happen.
Nonetheless as others mentioned, nobody actually checks it.
thanks for the info. I have already downloaded the app and they way I interpreted the screens was that if I walked within range of someone who had voluntarily reported a positive COVID case, that it would alert my phone that I was at risk or near someone with it. That impression led me to be nervous about firing up the app in front of them. Maybe I mis-understood the app but it felt more like it was a scanner and would alert me if someone was positive around me. But as it's been said, it doesn't seem to be an issue anyway as far as scrutiny goes. Thanks!
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Old Dec 2, 20, 12:43 pm
  #837  
 
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Originally Posted by thijsseh View Post
My own experience (plus hearsay from others) is that no-one asks anything about that app. I arrived into JNB just over two weeks ago, I had dutifully installed it on my phone. If you are concerned, I would suggest you disable Bluetooth as you mention. And as you say, possession of a smartphone can hardly be a requirement so enforcement is difficult to say the least!

On your other post: the requirement is to have a negative Covid test of a sample which was taken less than 72 hours before you started your itinerary (i.e. the departure date / time of the first flight on your PNR). They do check your certificate but I am not at all sure how closely they examine it.
Thanks! I'm starting to feel more confident about the pieces lining up for the trip. Getting a test inside the 72hr window and getting the dogs off the wait list at the kennel are the last 2 concerns. Even as far as travel insurance goes, I found policies that people on this thread have mentioned and can get coverage for $50-60 for us for the 10 days. Policies stated clearly that they cover COVID care, evacuation, etc. A no-brainer in this world. Maybe I can put my OCD to rest for a while.
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Old Dec 4, 20, 8:50 am
  #838  
 
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Some recent changes following a speech by the president last night:
- Nelson Mandela Bay municipality is now declared a "COVID 19 hotspot zone" and the following restrictions apply:
-- Night curfew will start at 10PM
-- Alcohol sales only allowed M-T 10:00-17:00
-- Alcohol consumption in public spaces, such as beaches and parks, is strictly forbidden.
-- Some further restrictions on large gatherings

There is a somewhat decent chance this will be extended over to the Garden Route district and Cape Town where there is also a large increase in new cases.
Average daily cases 1st week of Nov was 1500, now it's 2900.

New gazettes published yesterday:
http://www.gpwonline.co.za/Gazettes/...omeAffairs.pdf
http://www.gpwonline.co.za/Gazettes/...-12_Health.pdf
http://www.gpwonline.co.za/Gazettes/..._Transport.pdf

TL;DR of the important parts
- Children under the age of 5 may be exempted from wearing a mask (was under the age of 2 previously)
- Transit passengers need negative PCR
- The regulation that previously only mentioned inbound flights as requiring PCR test is now changed to:
With effect from the date of publication of these Directions, international passenger flights to and from the Republic shall be permitted, subject to the following conditions:
... details about PCR tests ...
At the same time the next section reads:
With regard to international outbound flights -

(a) subject to the travel requirements of country of destination, a passenger must provide the Operator with a valid negative PCR test...
Beats me how the 2 aren't conflicting and what will actually be the case.

Last edited by Ditto; Dec 4, 20 at 11:24 am
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Old Dec 4, 20, 9:49 am
  #839  
 
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
Some recent changes following a speech by the president last night:
- Nelson Mandela Bay municipality is now declared a "COVID 19 hotspot zone" and the following restrictions apply:
-- Night curfew will start at 10PM
-- Alcohol sales only allowed M-T 10:00-17:00
-- Alcohol consumption in public spaces, such as beaches and parks, is strictly forbidden.
-- Some further restrictions on large gatherings

There is a somewhat decent chance this will be extended over to the Garden Route district and Cape Town where there is also a large increase in new cases.
Average daily cases 1st week of Nov was 1500, now it's 2900.

New gazettes published yesterday:
http://www.gpwonline.co.za/Gazettes/...omeAffairs.pdf
http://www.gpwonline.co.za/Gazettes/...-12_Health.pdf
http://www.gpwonline.co.za/Gazettes/..._Transport.pdf

TL;DR of the important parts
- Transit passengers need negative PCR
- The regulation that previously only mentioned inbound flights as requiring PCR test is now changed to:

At the same time the next section reads:


Beats me how the 2 aren't conflicting and what will actually be the case.
I can't imagine they would require an exit PCR test if a citizen is flying to their home country. Besides, wouldn't they want you to get out of the country ASAP if you were positive? Why would they want to chance keeping you there.

As an American, the only way I couldn't travel home is if the USA blocked me from entering (which they wouldn't). They can require a test but they've never done that, and they haven't ordered quarantines. Based on the state I'm returning to, I might be subject to local policies, but nothing at the federal level. The ZA gov't does not do a good job in spelling out the specifics when they update the policies. For example, they would say you needed a PCR test 72 hours prior to the date of your departure to ZA, well I can interpret that as not the departure flight time, but rather 12:01a of the day of departure, which creates a bigger window for the testing. They could clearly define it by saying the time of your departing flight, but they leave things to interpretation.

We're flying Qatar to JNB from ORD and now QR has updated their travel info for JNB as of yesterday. It used to state that you needed a PCR test result 72 hours prior to your arrival. That's all gone now and only refers to business travellers needed a covid test 72 hours prior to departure. QR also now states that NO travel insurance is required.

Here's the excerpt from QR's travel info tool on their website. If you look closely, they don't technically even address the test window for incoming visitors. They're addresses business travelers in certain african travel zones, and transit passengers. No specific mention of inbound tourists except for if you don't provide a negative test, then off to the quarantine gulag. Again, just lack of thorough details.

What are the country entry and exit requirements?
  • Borders are open for tourism, business, leisure as well as other travel.
  • Business travellers crossing the borders between Southern African Development Community and South Africa may enter multiple times; however they should produce a negative COVID-19 test certificate issued within the last 72-hours prior to departure of their point of origin. The certificate will be valid for 14-days only.
  • Anyone currently in South Africa on a work, study, or other long-term visa can stay under the terms of that visa. If the visa expired while under lockdown, the traveller will be granted an automatic extension until 31 January 2021 and will be able to leave the country without being penalized for over-staying. Those who leave South Africa will not be permitted to return on the same visa and will need to apply for a new visa.
  • 18 land ports of entry have reopened.
  • Maritime travel for the passengers remains banned. Freight transport is allowed.
  • Cruise ships are not allowed to dock at this time.
  • Visa exemptions for nationals of Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Korea (Rep.), Singapore, USA, Spain, for passengers with a Hong Kong (SAR China) passport as well as British normal passport with nationality “British Citizen”, have been reinstated.
  • Citizens and residents are allowed to enter.
  • Travellers from foreign countries are allowed to enter for any purposes.
  • Transit through South Africa is allowed. The traveller must remain airside. The traveller must also have a paper copy of a negative COVID-19 test certificate issued within the last 72 hours prior to their departure. Without the certificate or if showing symptoms, travellers may be required to quarantine at a government facility.
  • Anyone eligible to enter the country must undergo health screening on arrival. Any travellers presenting with symptoms will be required to remain in quarantine until a COVID-19 test is conducted.
  • Test certificates obtained outside of South Africa are accepted.
  • Travellers with a negative test certificate are not required to self-isolate. Those without the certificate or with any symptoms of COVID-19 must quarantine at a government facility at least for 10-days at their own cost.
  • Airline crew are also subject to self-isolation if they do not have a negative test certificate issued within the last 72-hours prior to departure.
  • Arriving travellers are not required to have any travel insurance.
  • All travellers will need to complete a health form on arrival and show proof of accommodation.
  • All domestic travellers will also need to submit a completed health declaration form at the airport on arrival.
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Old Dec 4, 20, 9:55 am
  #840  
 
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When I read that excerpt about outbound international travel, it states:

With regard to international outbound flights-

(a) subject to the travel requirements of a country of destination, a passenger must provide the Operator with a valid negative PCR test certificate or a valid COVID -19 negative test certificate from an accredited laboratory certified by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority ( "SAHPRA ") and South African National Accreditation System ( "SANAS "); (b) an Operator is responsible for ensuring that passengers comply with COVID -19 requirements of the country of destination; and (c) Operators must familiarise themselves with the public health measures, including testing requirements, at the destination airport prior to departure.

It would appear I wouldn't need a PCR test on my outbound flight if my destination country doesn't require it since it says "SUBJECT TO THE TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS OF A COUNTRY OF DESTINATION".....
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