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Relaxation of quarantine rules for returning South Africans

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People returning to South Africa may now apply to self-isolate for a fixed period rather than staying in quarantine facilities provided by the state. This was gazetted by the Department of Health on 17 July 2020.

The gazette stipulates that all persons entering the Republic through any point of entry must be subjected to screening at the point of entry, and may be placed under mandatory quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days. Self-quarantine will be considered on the condition that an application is made to the Director-General of Health (quarantine@health.co.za) at least 72 hours before the start of the journey and that the place of self-quarantine complies with set criteria.

The application must be supported by the following:

(a) Particulars of the place and address where self -quarantine will take place;
(b) written declaration committing to all conditions for self-quarantine;
(c) copy of Identity Document or Passport;
(d) contact details where the applicant may be reached for the duration of the quarantine period; and
(e) details of his or her itinerary for the last 30 days.

To qualify for self -quarantine or self-isolation, the applicant must have the following:

(a) Separate well-ventilated bedroom with a bathroom and toilet, or a residence that is not shared with persons who are not subject to quarantine;
(b) meals served in the room in disposable utensils or utensils that are separate and are washed properly, if there are persons who are not subject to quarantine;
(c) support from friends or family that can facilitate the drop off of food and medicine at the gate if they are not able to make use of online shopping facilities and contactless deliveries;
(d) a thermometer that will allow him or her to measure his or her temperature daily;
(e) access to the internet and a phone that will enable the daily reporting of symptoms;
(f) access to a private physician that he or she can contact should he or she require medical advice or care; and
(g) a contact number where he or she can be reached during the period of self – quarantine or self -isolation.

Where approval for self -quarantine has not been granted, or it has been determined that the person has failed to adhere to the self -quarantine conditions, such a person will be placed at in a state identified quarantine facility.

An exemption of quarantine can be obtained under exceptional circumstances.

More information is available in the published gazette.

The impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry is unprecedented and unpredictable. The nature of the content that is being shared on the ASATA coronavirus microsite is therefore constantly changing. Please check the date of the post to ascertain its recency.
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