The Department of Home Affairs has reviewed the list of high-risk countries which will be restricted from entering South Africa under the country’s level 1 lockdown rules.
In a statement on Monday (19 October), the department said that the review of the list of high-risk countries was done in such a way that it strikes a balance between saving lives and protecting livelihoods.
The department said that people from high-risk countries who may visit South Africa fall in the following categories:
- Business travellers,
- Holders of critical skills visas,
- People on international mission in sports, arts, culture and science.
“In addition, we recognise that there are a number of regular visitors from mainly European countries that have been accustomed to long periods of visitation to our country during our summer season when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Most of them own properties in the country,” the department said.
“We appreciate the significant economic contribution that they make through their activities in the country. To this end, we will also allow visitors, in whichever category, who are coming to stay for a three months period or more subject to Covid-19 protocols.”
The department said that travellers who need to apply must direct email requests to this email address (Covid19BusinessTravel@dha.gov.za) supported by:
- A copy of passport and/or temporary residence visa;
- Proof of business activities to be undertaken in the Republic;
- Proof of travel itinerary; and
- Proof of address or accommodation in the Republic.
In the first two weeks that the email address had been in operation, 4,701 applications were received, mostly from investors in agriculture, manufacturing, mining and tourism. Of these applications, 3,113 have been approved.
“These numbers show that on average, 335 investors a day applied to visit country, sending a strong message that South Africa remains an attractive investment destination,” the department said.
“In response to these numbers, the Department of Home Affairs has increased the capacity of people managing the email account to ensure speedier responses and we will try our best to ensure that responses are communicated within 24 hours.”
The department also published its updated list of high-risk countries based on its updated model.
Leisure travellers from high-risk countries will not be permitted. The exception will be business travellers with scarce and critical skills including diplomats, repatriated persons, investors and people participating in professional sporting and, events will undergo the same health protocol screenings.
The previous list of high-risk destination had 60 countries. The latest update carries only 22 with Germany the most notable addition.
The new list as follows:
- United Kingdom
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