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SA moves back to Level 1: What do travel agents need to know?

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South Africa has officially moved back to COVID-19 lockdown Level 1. This was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address to the nation on 28 February. 

Here is a round-up of what travel agents need to know about the move to Level 1 and accompanying regulations:   

The President mentioned that the UIF’s special COVID-19 wage support would be extended until 15 March 2021 for those sectors of the economy that have not been able to operate over this period. However, he warned that the country’s public finances were extremely constrained, and such relief measures could not remain in place indefinitely. 

Re-opening of borders 
There has been no change with regard to further borders being opened. The 20 land borders which are operational, will remain opened, while the 33 land borders which were closed, will remain closed.  

Air Travel 
International air travel is restricted to the following airports: 

  • OR Tambo International Airport: 
  • King Shaka International Airport; 
  • Cape Town International Airport: 
  • Lanseria International Airport; and 
  • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. 

Long -haul flight departures and landings are permitted during the hours of curfew.  

All international travellers arriving at the airports must provide a valid certificate of a negative COVID –19 test, recognised by the World Health Organisation, which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel. 

In the event of the traveller’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative COVID -19 test, the traveller will be required to do an antigen test on arrival at his or her own cost and in the event of a traveller testing positive for COVID -19, he or she will be required to isolate him or herself at his or her own cost for a period of 10 days. 

Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities. resorts and guest houses are allowed full capacity of the available rooms for accommodation, with patrons observing a distance of at least one and a half metres from each other when in common spaces. 

Under Level 1, gatherings are permitted guided under strict COVID-19 regulations and protocols:

  • Indoor gatherings may not exceed 50% of the venue capacity, up to a maximum of 100 people
  • Outdoor gatherings may not exceed 50% of the venue capacity, up to a maximum of 250 people  

Attendance at funerals is limited to a maximum number of 100 people for indoor gatherings and 250 people for outdoor gatherings. Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used.

Every person, when attending a gathering and in order to limit exposure to COVID-19 must: (a) wear a face mask
(b) adhere to all health protocols
(c) maintain a distance of at least one and a half metres from each other; and
(d) adhere to any other health protocols and social distancing measures as provided for in the directions 

The nationwide curfew has been relaxed and will now be from 00h00 to 4am. Apart from permitted workers, no person may be outside their place of residence during curfew. 

Establishments, including restaurants and bars, will need to close by no later than 23h00 in order to ensure their customers and staff are able to return home prior to the start of the curfew. 

The sale of alcohol will be permitted, according to normal licence provisions. However, no alcohol may be sold during the hours of curfew. 

Wearing of masks   
The adjusted Level 3 regulations made every individual legally responsible for wearing a mask in public, and this requirement remains unchanged. A person who does not wear a cloth mask covering over the nose and mouth in a public place will be committing an offence and is at the risk of being arrested and prosecuted. On conviction, they will be liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both a fine and imprisonment. 

Click here to read the President’s full statement. 

ASATA will continue to monitor the situation and share updated information as it becomes available.

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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