Level 1 international travel

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Level 1: This loophole may allow travellers from ‘banned countries’ to visit SA

As part of Level 1, the government is set to publish a list of countries that will be deemed ‘too high-risk’ for international travel from SA.

Level 1 international travel

Photo: Unsplash

International travel will return to South Africa in October. However, the borders won’t be open to everyone at Level 1: We understand that at least five countries have been ‘identified as high-risk‘ by Cabinet, who are set to publish the full list of nations that are off-limits before the end of the month.

International travel: Which countries could be banned from visiting South Africa?

According to a report by the Sunday Times, the government is painfully aware that banning visitors from certain countries could cause a diplomatic headache. Two of the five nations under review form part of BRICS alongside South Africa. Meanwhile, three western superpowers could also see their access to Mzansi denied:

CountryIssue making it ‘high-risk’
USAHighest coronavirus death toll anywhere in the world
UKA ‘second-wave’ has been reported, plus, their track and trace systems are ineffective
FranceTighter restrictions have been imposed here after a surge in cases
BrazilSecond-highest infection rates in the world
IndiaIncreased transmission of COVID-19 in recent weeks

Level 1: Loophole may allow visitors from high-risk countries

But, according to tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, any sort of travel ban on these countries wouldn’t be absolute. She revealed that the government is likely to allow ‘people with investments in South Africa’ the right to visit our shores if they apply for permission from Home Affairs first. The loophole would bypass all potential limitations on travel:

“If country A has been categorised as high risk, someone who has invested in South Africa and has to come and check their project, they are able to apply to the home affairs minister to say I have an investment and want to check on it. The minister can approve for that person to come, provided they produce a negative test within 72 hours of travel.”

“Destination SA in terms of products is very diverse. What we are analysing is that the international traveller will not want to move from one country to another, but will want to remain in one country. With everything that we offer, we believe we can become a destination of choice. We offer wildlife, nature, coastal areas, cities, mountains, etcetera.”

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane