Foreigners flying into SA get a curfew break – but you’ll need to have your papers handy
- Passengers on inbound flights into South Africa don’t have to worry about the 21:00 to 06:00 curfew.
- These travellers will not be breaking the law in travelling from the airport to their place of accommodation, government says.
- This is on condition that visitors can prove – by presenting a ticket or boarding pass – their late-night travels to law enforcement officers.
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International travellers onboard late-night flights into South Africa will be permitted to move from the airport to their places of accommodation during the 21:00 to 06:00 curfew, government says. Visitors have, however, been urged to carry proof of their travels to avoid fine or imprisonment if stopped by police.
On Tuesday, South Africa entered an adjusted form of Level 3 lockdown. New regulations banning the sale of alcohol and social gatherings coincide with an extended curfew intended to limit movement after dark. This extension has already disrupted local flights, with airlines scrambling to adjust their schedules and revise bookings.
Between 21:00 and 06:00, only those with valid work permits will be allowed to travel to and from their homes. This reprieve is extended to persons seeking urgent medical attention.
But during a press briefing on Tuesday, minister of justice and correctional services Ronald Lamola, and the minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, agreed that international travellers get a pass on that rule.
“International travellers who arrive during the period of the curfew will still be allowed to reach their destination,” said Lamola.
Although South African travellers have been barred from entering several nations following the discovery of a more infectious Covid-19 variant, known as 501.V2, the country’s airspace remains largely unaffected by the recent move to adjusted Level 3 lockdown. International flights into OR Tambo, King Shaka, and Cape Town International airports remain operational, albeit in a fashion subdued compared to the usual December rush.
“If they [international travellers] can show that they were travelling, with the stamp on their ticket or passport… the police will leave them alone,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
The NCCC did not, however clarify whether this offer would be extended to persons departing from South Africa or to local airlines.
Violating the curfew, without a valid reason, can lead to arrest and prosecution. Offenders may be subjected to a prison term, not exceeding six months, a fine, or both.
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