Mbabane: South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the reopening of borders for international travel into and out of the republic, but it is yet to be publicized if emaSwati will qualify.
However, travel into and out of Eswatini would be allowed only if the country has been identified by South Africa to have low infection rate. Should it be identified as one of those with high infection rate, travel will remain restricted.
“We will be allowing travel into and out of South Africa for business, leisure and other travel with effect from October 1, 2020. This is subject to various containment and mitigation measures. Travel may be restricted to and from certain countries that have high infection rates,” Ramaphosa said, adding that a list of countries will be published based on the latest scientific data.
President Ramaphosa went on to say ttravellers will only be able to use one of the land border posts that have remained operational during the lockdown or one of the three main airports: King Shaka, OR Tambo and Cape Town International Airport. During the lockdown, land borders into South Africa which were operational were Ngwenya, Lavumisa and Mahamba.
On arrival, travellers will need to present a negative Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours from time of departure and if they did not have it, they would have to go into quarantine at their own costs.
“Where a traveller has not done a Covid-19 test prior to departure, they will be required to remain in mandatory quarantine at their own cost,” he said.
Additionally, all travellers will be screened on arrival and those presenting with symptoms will be required to remain in quarantine until a repeat Covid-19 test is conducted. Ramaphosa further said all travellers will be asked to install the Covid Alert South Africa Mobile App because countries that have used this type of app have been able to manage the coronavirus pandemic quite effectively.
He said in preparation for the reopening of our borders, South African missions abroad will open for visa applications and all long-term visas will be reinstated.
Alcohol will also now be sold on Friday, after it was initially only allowed to be sold from Mondays to Thursdays in premises where it was not consumed such as bottle stores.
He said the move to alert level 1 will mean a further easing of restrictions on social, religious, political and other gatherings, subject to certain restrictions.
He said the number of people in a venue may not exceed 50 percent of the capacity at the venue.
Venues can have a maximum of 250 people indoors, while a maximum of 500 people are allowed to gather outdoors.