Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has provided answers on some of the government’s key level 1 lockdown regulations.

Responding in a written parliamentary Q&A to the Democratic Alliance, Mkhize detailed the rules in place for travellers who are arriving from other countries and those South African who cannot self-quarantine at home.

His answers are outlined in more detail below.

What happens to persons who cannot self-quarantine because of insufficient space in their own homes, but equally cannot afford to pay for government quarantine in a 4-star hotel?

South Africans that are unable to self-quarantine at home are directed to a state-run facility where they will be able to quarantine. There is no charge for the use of this facility.

Do students from other countries have to undergo weekly Covid-19 tests in line with (the level 1) regulations?

Daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend or teach at a school in the Republic, as well as children below the age of five years, are exempted from the provisions of subparagraph (3)(b) but must comply with the re-entry requirements set out by the Department of Home Affairs.

With reference to persons visiting accepted overseas destinations on holiday but cannot access Covid-19 testing overseas, how are the specified persons accommodated upon their return? 

Such persons would need to quarantine at a designated facility for 10 days or alternatively do a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test immediately upon entry into the country, once the results are available such person is able to apply for early release from quarantine, the period for this is process can be between 24 to 72 hours.

Under South Africa’s level 1 lockdown rules, travellers will be screened for any Covid-19 symptoms and will also be screened for contact with people who have been in contact with others who could have had Covid-19.

Travellers will also need to provide proof of accommodation addresses in case they need to self-isolate. International travel around the world has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Those who are found to have Covid-19 after entering the country will be required to isolate for 10 days at their own cost.

Do people visiting accepted overseas destinations on holiday have to apply for self-quarantine before their return? 

No, persons visiting accepted overseas destinations do not need to apply for self-quarantine before their return as requirements and procedures for level one have changed aligning with easing of lockdown restrictions. Persons returning into the country are required to produce negative PCR tests which are not older than 72 hours from date of travel.

The Department of Home Affairs published its updated list of high-risk countries on 19 October.

Leisure travellers from high-risk countries will not be permitted. The exception will be business travellers with scarce and critical skills including diplomats, repatriated persons, investors and people participating in professional sporting and, events will undergo the same health protocol screenings.

The previous list of high-risk destination had 60 countries. The latest update carries only 22.

The new list as follows:

  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

Source: Business Tech