Entire families may be quarantined under SA’s new rules for foreign travel

Business Insider SA
Caution: coronavirus
  • Entire family groups face mandatory quarantine on arrival in South Africa, if one member of the group shows symptoms of Covid-19, and then tests positive for the coronavirus.
  • They'll have to pay for their 10 days of quarantine.
  • No immunity passports will be accepted at SA's borders, only negative PCR tests.
  • Airliners have been cleared to provide catering on board incoming flights.
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Families flying into South Africa now face mandatory quarantine if any member of the group show symptoms of Covid-19, and then tests positive for the coronavirus.

If that happens, they'll have to pay for their own stay in quarantine, under new travel rules published on Thursday.

There are no similar provisions for friends or colleagues travelling together, nor any provision for unrelated passengers in adjoining seats to receive similar treatment.

In terms of the new regime, anyone on an inbound international flight who shows symptoms of Covid-19 must go through "primary and secondary screening". If a test for the novel coronavirus is indicated, and returns positive, that person must "if travelling with family, be quarantined, at own cost, with the whole family".

South Africa has a 10-day quarantine period for the coronavirus.

The new rules also specifically dismiss the use of an "immunity passport" or "risk-free certificate" at South African borders. Such documents are based on the holder testing positive for the antibodies that show they have had the coronavirus, and recovered – and so are considered to have some protection against getting it again, and spreading the disease, at least for a time.

All travellers who wish to enter the country must present a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, no more than 72 hours old, from a verified laboratory.

While everyone, except children under the age of two, are expected to wear masks nearly all the time while aboard an plane flying into SA, on-board catering is allowed, as long as meals are pre-packaged.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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