Earlier today Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, detailed several of the important requirements needed for those travelling in SA, now that the country has moved to alert level 1 lockdown.

When President Cyril Ramaphosa first announced that the country was moving to a lower level of lockdown, he pointed to a few aspects, such as needing a produce a negative test should international travellers be entering SA, but now the minister has laid out the regulations in full.

As such, the below details what are the most important parts.

The first is that South Africa is taking a phased approach to opening up its borders, especially when it pertains to flight.

To that end, only three airports in the country will be opened for international travel – OR Tambo International, Cape Town International and King Shaka International.

Next is the documentation that international travellers coming to SA will need to have, outside of the usual Visa elements.

Here, a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test result will need to be produced when entering the country, with it needing to have been completed no more than 72 hours from the time the flight department the country of origin.

Added to this, international travellers are required to have mandatory travel insurance to cover their potential COVID-19 test and quarantine costs.

If you are unable to produce the aforementioned PCR test, you will be subjected to a quarantine at a government facility, at your own cost.

As for the wearing of face masks, the minister explains that while in transit, passengers will be required to wear face masks at all times. The only exceptions will be in the case of an emergency, or when instructed by the cabin crew to take them off. Also of note is that children under the age of two years are exempt from wearing face masks during the flight.

Those passengers who are unable to wear a face mask due to an underlying health condition, must submit a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner to their airline upon departure.

One other aspect with regard to travelling in SA from the minister pertained to business travel, specially from countries with a high COVID-19 infection rate.

“International travel from countries listed as having a high COVID-19 infection and transmission rate is prohibited except for business travel, which may be allowed with the approval of the Cabinet member responsible for Home Affairs,” he pointed out.

How easy it will be to get said approval, however, is unclear at this stage.

Given all the rules and regulations for travelling in SA right now, it seems that flying need only be done if unavoidable.

[Image – Photo by Mpho Mojapelo on Unsplash]