No plans – yet – to help South Africans stuck abroad get home during the coronavirus crisis
- Despite a ban on travellers from some countries, South African citizens are still allowed back into the country – in theory.
- Flight cancellations mean South Africans in various parts of the world are effectively stuck, they say.
- Some are running out of money, others are worried about legal trouble if they overstay visas.
- The SA government is in touch with authorities elsewhere, Dirco says, but there are no plans yet for special repatriation efforts.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
South Africans stuck on the wrong side of flight cancellations – amid a massive decline in air traffic due to the Covid-19 outbreak and related travel bans – are on their own for the time being.
So far no decision has been taken to repatriate South African citizens from other parts of the world, a spokesperson for the department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) told Business Insider South Africa on Sunday.
Via missions abroad, the government is "interacting with authorities of the countries" where citizens are stuck, though, and information is being fed to SA's National Command Council, which is expected to announce new measures around the novel coronavirus after a meeting on Sunday.
STOP SPREADING FAKE NEWS: The President is NOT addressing the nation and announcing a lockdown tonight. The National Command Council will meet in a scheduled meeting tomorrow to assess implementation of the directives announced by the President last Sunday. #CoronavirusInSA..1/2 pic.twitter.com/BJgmv1XCSs— Khusela Diko???? (@KhuselaS) March 21, 2020
A special flight was arranged to evacuated South African citizens from Wuhan, China, during the lockdown in that city. No similar measures have been taken as lockdowns have spread across other cities and territories.
At last a handful of South Africans are stuck on cruise ships and in similar predicaments.
But several citizens in various countries told Business Insider their primary problem was a lack of flights, either direct or indirect, that could get them home.
Some said they were running out of money, others worried about the legal consequences of overstaying visas.
Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- SA telescope engineers submerge computers in oil to protect them from the sweltering Karoo heat
- These SA unit trusts have lost the most money
- Use of shopping trolley wipes rockets 500% - please take only one at a time, begs supplier
- SA permanent residents abroad are being told they can’t come home, ‘chaos’ as OR Tambo tests for Covid-19
- Switzerland is now also on South Africa’s Covid-19 travel ban list. Here’s the full rundown.
- France banned cycling, people can now only jog within 2km of home, in new Covid-19 measures