ASATA has received credible information regarding the repatriation of South Africans.
Unfortunately, the travel industry cannot provide direct help to South Africans abroad who are trying to return home. As travel agents, we need to advise our customers to contact their nearest South African Embassy, Consulate or High Commission abroad, in order to be added to the official repatriation list. They must be able to prove that they had a return ticket to South Africa.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has directed that South Africans seeking repatriation must also be registered with DIRCO’s Registration of South Africans Abroad (ROSA). Requests for registration and queries can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With more countries requesting to repatriate their citizens from South Africa, DIRCO will be using the opportunity to bring back more South Africans using the chartered flights. SAA has a registration available online where individuals can enter their details for eligibility on one of the airline’s chartered flights.
Repatriation flights will only take place from central locations. These details will be shared directly through the Embassy, Consulate or High Commission. Individuals will have to make their own way to the nearest departure point.
These flights will only operate to Cape Town and O.R. Tambo International Airports, as those are the only airports open in South Africa. Returning South Africans need to consider how arrival in Cape Town or Johannesburg will impact them under current lockdown conditions after they arrive and post quarantine.
On return, they will be required to go through scanning and into a 14-day quarantine. They can choose to use private quarantine facilities (e.g. hotels that have officially registered to assist with quarantined travellers), but this is at their own cost. The other option is to make use of Government quarantine facilities.
DIRCO has said that in line with Minister Naledi Pandor’s instructions, those who are stuck at airports, students who have been asked to vacate their residences as well as the elderly and the sick will be prioritised.
Please advise your clients accordingly so that we can try to get as many of them as possible home safely, comfortably, and without prolonged delay.
ASATA will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as they are made known.
Click here to view an interview with Minister Naledi Pandor earlier today.