Re-opening of borders
Travellers intending to visit the country will be expected to produce a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such test.
Upon arrival in the port of entry, the traveller will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms or for contact with people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Travellers will also need to provide proof of accommodation address should they need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country.
Should the traveller display any COVID-19–related symptoms or been in contact with an infected person(s), they will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test. This test will be at the traveller’s cost. If the COVID-19 test comes back positive, the traveller will be subjected to a 10 day quarantine at a designated site. The accommodation at a quarantine site will be at the traveller’s cost.
Any person from a country listed as having a high COVID-19 infection and transmission rate, who wish to undertake a business travel into South Africa, may with effect from 01 October 2020, in writing, apply to the Minister of Home Affairs and demonstrate reasons for their request to enter the Republic for business purposes during the period of the national state of disaster.
Such applications must be directed to email Covid19BusinessTravel@dha.gov.za(link sends e-mail) and supported by—
(a) a copy of passport and/or temporary residence visa;
(b) proof of business activities to be undertaken in the Republic;
(c) proof of travel itinerary; and
(d) proof of address or accommodation in the Republic.
People who are not allowed from high risk countries are leisure travellers only. List of high risk countries: (as of 19 October 2020)
- United Kingdom
International flights and domestic flights
International flights to and from the Republic, as well as domestic flights within the Republic, are permitted in terms of regulation 75, read with regulation 76(2)(a) of the Regulations.
With effect from 01 October 2020, international passenger flights, inbound to the Republic from the African Continent and from other countries outside the African Continent, as determined in accordance with the list contemplated in regulation 75(4)(b) of the Regulations, are permitted, subject to the following conditions:
(a) A foreign Operator is required to submit procedures that show the level of compliance with South African COVID-19 legislation for approval to the South African Civil Aviation Authority;
(b) foreign Air Ambulance Services are permitted to transport COVID-19 positive patients: Provided that they obtain approval from the Department of Health, obtain a permit issued by the Department of Transport, and comply with the Department of Health Protocols and the Air Ambulance Guidelines issued by the Minister;
(c) passengers are required to wear face masks at all times, may only remove face masks during emergencies or when instructed by cabin crew to take them off and must observe social distancing, hand washing and sanitize regularly;
(d) a child under the age of two years may be exempted from wearing a face mask;
(e) a passenger who is unable to wear a face mask due to an underlying medical condition, must submit a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner to the Operator prior to departure;
(f) crew members are required to wear face masks at all times, except when conducting a safety briefing and during an emergency;
(g) a passenger must provide to the Operator a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction ( "PCR ") test certificate or a valid COVID-19 negative test certificate, obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel, from an accredited laboratory and in line with the World Health Organization requirements: Provided that South African Authorities reserve the right to verify the authenticity of presented PCR or COVID -19 test certificates;
(h) if a passenger is symptomatic, the necessary protocols of the Department of Health will be followed;
(i) in the event of the passenger's failure, for whatever reason, to submit a certificate as proof of a negative PCR test certificate or a valid COVID -19 negative test certificate upon arrival in South Africa, the passenger shall be subjected to a compulsory quarantine at a government designated facility as contemplated for in Health Directions, at his or her own cost;
(j) an "immunity passport", "risk-free certificate" or "passport immunity" in respect of COVID -19 is not acceptable;
(k) board any passenger without a valid negative PCR or a valid COVED -19 negative test certificate;
(I) international travel from countries listed as having a high COVID-19 infection and transmission rate, is prohibited, except for business travel, which may be allowed with the approval of the Cabinet member responsible for Home Affairs, in which case such passengers must comply with the requirements listed in paragraphs (c), (e), (g) and (h);
(m) crew members shall upon arrival in South Africa be subjected to health protocols as contemplated for in Health Directions.
(n) an Operator must ensure the following risk mitigation measures for crew members:
(i) Conduct risk assessments to ensure that crew members are fit and proper before they undertake their travel duties and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 crew infections; and
(ii) ensure that crew members are protected whilst on duty;
(o) Operators are allowed to provide catering on-board an aircraft: Provided that they take all risk mitigation, health and safety measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, including the provision of pre -packed meals;
(p) a passenger in transit -
(i) must be in possession of a negative PCR test certificate or a valid COVID-19 negative test certificate, obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel, from an accredited laboratory;
(ii) who displays symptoms of COVID-19 must, upon arrival and under the direction of Ports Health-
(aa) be taken through primary and secondary screening, including COVID-19 testing, where applicable;
(bb) be quarantined, at own cost, if result is obtained. All Department of Health protocols and Department of Transport guidelines must be followed; and
(cc) if travelling with family, be quarantined. at own cost, with the whole family; international scheduled and Charter flights carrying passengers are allowed through the following airports:
(i) OR Tambo International Airport;
(ii) King Shaka International Airport; and
(iii) Cape Town International Airport; and
(r) Charter Operators conducting cargo operations from outside the Republic are permitted to operate at the following airports with Ports Health capacity:
(i) Bram Fischer International Airport;
(ii) Cape Town International Airport;
(iii) King Shaka International Airport;
(iv) Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport;
(v) Lanseria International Airport;
(vi) OR Tambo International Airport;
(vii) Polokwane Airport;
(viii) Port Elizabeth International Airport; and
(ix) Upington International Airport.
With regard to international outbound flights -
(a) subject to the travel requirements of a country of destination, a passenger must provide to the Operator a negative PCR test certificate or a valid COVID -19 negative test certificate from an accredited laboratory certified by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority ( "SAHPRA "); and
(b) an Operator is responsible to ensure that passengers comply with COVID -19 requirements of the country of destination.
Domestic passenger flights are permitted at the following domestic airports, as approved:
(a) Bram Fischer International Airport;
(b) Cape Town International Airport;
(c) East London Airport ;
(d) George Airport;
(e) Hoedspruit Airport;
(f) Kimberly Airport;
(g) King Shaka International Airport;
(h) Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport;
(i) Lanseria International Airport;
(j) Margate Airport;
(k) Mthatha Airport;
(I) OR Tambo International Airport;
(m) Phalaborwa Airport;
(n) Pietermaritzburg Airport;
(o) Plettenberg Bay Airport;
(p) Polokwane Airport;
(q) Port Elizabeth International Airport;
(r) Richards Bay Airport;
(s) Sishen Airport;
(t) Skukuza Airport; and
(u) Upington International Airport.
The loading and off -loading of air cargo in and out of International Airports, Designated as Ports of Entry, is permitted.
Foreign crew changes and prohibition of cruise ships calling at sea ports
Foreign crew changes are permitted at all nine commercial ports.
Signing-on crew must produce a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction ( "PCR ") test certificate or a valid certificate of COVID -19 negative test results, obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel, from an accredited laboratory and in line with World Health Organization requirements at the first South African Port of Entry.
In the event of a crew member's failure to produce a valid PCR test certificate, this will warrant quarantine, at the crew member's own cost.
Signing -off crews are not required to produce a valid PCR test certificate if the vessel has not had crew changes or has not visited a foreign port within 10 days before arrival at a South African sea port.
(b) A crew member's failure to adhere to the requirement contemplated in paragraph (a), will warrant quarantine, at the crew member's own cost.
Foreign crew may layover at a designated quarantine facility for a period not exceeding seven days, at their own cost, but must proceed directly to Ports of Entry once this period has lapsed and must also comply with South African Immigration requirements and Port Health protocols.
Cruise ships are prohibited from calling at any of the South African sea ports, except for the disembarkation of returning-
(a) South African crew;
(b) South African citizens; or
(c) holders of South African permanent residence permits.
Passenger ships visiting South African sea port
All passenger ships for international leisure purposes are prohibited from disembarking any international passengers at any South African sea port.
Passenger ships are allowed to call at any South African sea port only for the following purposes:
(a) Disembarking returning South African citizens and holders of South African permanent residence permits;
(b) replenishing fuel, stores and provisions;
(c) medical evacuation; and
(d) search and rescue.
Registered research foreign vessels and marine safety tugs are allowed to dock at sea ports, subject to mandatory quarantine laws, as may be applicable.
All other cargo vessels must be allowed to dock at sea ports for purposes of cargo works, repairs, replenishing fuel and provisions.
CROSS-BORDER ROAD TRANSPORT
Cross-border road transport passenger services are permitted to operate from 1 October 2020.
Cross-border freight transport and logistics in respect of specified cargo and permitted retail goods to neighbouring countries, which include goods imported through the South African Ports of Entry for re- export to neighbouring countries, is permitted.
Provision of improved access to hygiene and disinfection control at cross-border public transport facilities
All owners of cross-border road transport facilities must, at regular intervals, for the duration of the national state of disaster, sanitise their facilities, and provide adequate sanitisers or other hygiene dispensers for washing of hands and disinfection equipment for users of public transport services.
Owners of cross -border road transport facilities must put measures in place to adhere to social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Embarkation of cross-border road transport vehicles
All cross -border road transport operators must -
(a) ensure that cross -border road transport passenger vehicles are sanitised before picking up and after dropping off passengers;
(b) ensure that all cross- border road transport vehicles are clean and tidy;
(c) ensure that all cross -border road transport vehicles' doors and window handles, arm rests and hand rails are sanitised after every load;
(d) encourage cross -border road transport passengers to sanitise after entering the vehicle and after getting off the vehicle;
(e) put measures in place to adhere to social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19; and
(f) provide disinfection information materials and procedures.
All drivers of cross-border transport vehicles must wear a cloth face mask or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth.
Any marshal or security officer who interacts with members of the public in a cross -border road transport facility must wear a cloth face mask or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth.
The sanitisers used to sanitise all cross- border road transport vehicles must have a minimum of 70% alcohol content.
No person will be allowed to use any form of cross -border road transport or enter a cross -border road transport facility, building, place or premises if they do not wear a cloth face mask or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth.
For purposes of this regulation "long distance travel" is a trip of 200 km or more.
The Cabinet member responsible for transport must, after consultation with the Cabinet members responsible for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, health, police, trade, industry and competition, and justice and correctional services, issue directions for the resumption of different modes of public transport to cater for the gradual return to work of people, in respect of-
(a) domestic air travel;
(b) rail, bus services, taxi services;
(c) e-hailing services; and
(d) private vehicles.
Bus and taxi services -
(a) may not carry more than 70% of the licensed capacity for long distance travel; and
(b) may carry 100% of the licensed capacity for any trip not regarded as long distance travel in terms of subregulation (1).
A driver, owner or operator of public transport may not allow any member of the public who is not wearing a face mask, to board or be conveyed in a public transport owned or operated by him or her.
The directions to be issued by the Cabinet member responsible for transport must set out the health protocols that must be adhered to and the steps to be followed for the limitation of the exposure of members of the public using public transport to COVID-19.
Public transport services, private vehicles and loading capacity of public transport vehicles
All long distance intra-provincial and inter-provincial travel by private vehicles and public transport services are permitted.
For purpose of long distance travel,
(a) minibus, midibus or minibus taxi-type services are permitted to carry not more than 70% of their maximum licensed passenger carrying capacity for long distance intra-provincial travel and inter-provincial travel and are subject to the following limitations:
(i) A minibus licensed to carry 10 passengers, is limited to carry a maximum of 7 passengers;
(ii) a minibus licensed to carry 15 passengers, is limited to carry the maximum of 10 passengers; and
(iii) a midibus licensed to carry 22 passengers, is limited to carry a maximum of 15 passengers; and
(b) bus services are permitted to carry not more than 70% of their licensed passenger carrying capacity for long distance intra-provincial and inter-provincial travel.
For purpose of any trip not regarded as long distance travel -
(a) bus, minibus, midibus, minibus taxi-type services, e-hailing services, meter taxis, shuttle services, chauffer driven vehicles and scholar transport vehicles are permitted to carry 100% of their maximum licensed passenger capacity; and
(b) rail operations are permitted to carry not more than 70% of their licensed passenger capacity.
Private vehicle are permitted to carry their maximum licensed passenger capacity.
Tourist transport services is permitted.
International flights and domestic flights
All international flights are prohibited, except those conducted for-
(i) the transportation of fuel, cargo and goods;
(ii) humanitarian operations;
(iii) the evacuation of a South African national or permanent resident to the Republic;
(iv) the repatriation of a foreign national to their country of nationality or permanent residence;
(v) medical emergencies in respect of a life-threatening condition;
(vi) the movement of staff of diplomatic and international organisations;
(vii) the return of a South African national or permanent resident to their place of employment, study or residence, outside the
(viii) other categories, as authorised by the Minister of Transport, but excluding international passenger air travel for leisure purposes.
The following International Airports designated as Ports of Entry
have port health capability and are permitted to handle air cargo:
(a) Bram Fischer International Airport;
(b) Cape Town International Airport;
(c) King Shaka International Airport;
(d) Kruger Mpumaianga International Airport;
(e) Lanseria International Airport;
(f) OR Tambo International Airport;
(g) Pilanesberg Airport;
(h) Polokwane Airport;
(i) Port Elizabeth international Airport; and
(j) Upington International Airport.
Domestic passenger flights are permitted.
Domestic passenger flights are permitted at the following domestic airports:
(i) Bram Fischer International Airport;
(ii) Cape Town International Airport;
(iii) East London Airport;
(iv) George Airport;
(v) Hoedspruit Airport;
(vi) Kimberly Airport;
(vii) King Shaka International Airport;
(viii) Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport;
(ix) Lanseria International Airport;
(x) Margate Airport;
(xi) Mthatha Airport;
(xii) OR Tambo International Airport;
(xiii) Phalaborwa Airport;
(xiv) Pietermaritzburg Airport;
(xv) Port Elizabeth International Airport;
(xvi) Richards Bay Airport;
(xvii) Skukuza Airport; and
(xviii) Upington International Airport.
(1) Aerial work is permitted.
(2) General aviation is permitted.
(3) Recreational aviation is permitted.
Foreign crew changes may only take place at the port of Cape Town and at the port of Durban, under the following conditions:
(a) A request for crew changes must be completed by a shipping company or its representative on a form which corresponds substantially with Form A and submitted, at least 96 hours (four days) prior to the crew change, to the Department of Transport;
(b) the form referred to in paragraph (a) must be accompanied by a detailed crew list, which also specifies the signing-on crew and signing-off crew.
(c) the crew must comply with all the travel requirements and health protocols at ports of entry;
(d) crew changes may take place at port and off port limits;
(e) signing-on crew may directly transit from the airport to board the vessel: Provided that, if a layover is necessary, the crew must be quarantined as per the Port Health Protocol at the employer's costs and the name of the quarantine facility must be specified in the form referred to in paragraph (a); and
(f) signing-on and signing-off crew may only in exceptional circumstances be permitted to layover.
Cruise ships are prohibited from calling at any of the South African ports, except for the disembarkation of returning -
(a) South African crew; or
(b) South African citizens or holders of permanent residence permits.
South African citizens and holders of permanent residence permits are advised to refrain from making use of international maritime transport or cruise ships.
All passenger vessels are prohibited from-
(i) disembarking any passengers at any South African port;
(ii) calling at any of the ports, except for the disembarkation of returning South African crew, South African citizens and holders of permanent residence permits.
Signing-off crew of a passenger vessel may -
(i) disembark from a passenger vessel at the port of Cape Town and at the port of Durban; and
(ii) directly transit to the airport
Long-distance rail services
(1) All long- distance rail services, both public and private operations, are permitted.
(2) Shosholoza Meyl, Premier Classe, Blue Train and private rail operators, such as Rovos Rail, may resume domestic services.
Movement between provinces
Movement of persons between provinces is prohibited, except for-
(a) persons doing so in the course of carrying out work responsibilities or performing any service permitted under Alert Level 3, provided that such person is in possession of a permit issued by the employer;
(b) persons travelling for purposes of-
(i) moving to a new place of residence; or
(ii) caring for an immediate family member: Provided that such person is in possession of an affidavit;
(c) members of Parliament performing oversight responsibilities;
(d) learners or students who have to commute to and from those schools or institutions of higher learning during periods when those schools or institutions are permitted to operate;
(e) the attendance of funerals;
(f) the transportation of mortal remains;
(g) obtaining medical treatment;
(h) persons who are returning to their place of residence from a quarantine or isolation facility; or
(i) any movement permitted under regulation 41.
(1) During the national state of disaster all borders of the Republic must be closed, except for ports of entry designated by the Cabinet member responsible for home affairs, for
(a) the transportation of fuel, cargo and goods; and
(b) humanitarian operations, repatriations, evacuations, medical emergencies, movement of staff of diplomatic and international organisations and other exceptions as may be determined by the relevant Cabinet member by directions.
(2) The Cabinet member responsible for home affairs, or a person designated by him or her, may allow entry into or exit from the Republic for-
(a) emergency medical attention for a life-threatening condition;
(b) the evacuation of a South African national or permanent resident to the Republic;
(c) the repatriation of a foreign national to his or her country of nationality or permanent residence;
(d) the return of a South African national or permanent resident to his or her place of employment, study or residence, outside the Republic; or
(e) daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend school in the Republic, and who are allowed entry and exit into and from the Republic, subject to compliance with protocols relating to-
(i) screening for COVID-19 and quarantine or isolation, where necessary;
(ii) wearing of a cloth face mask or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth when in a public place, or another appropriate item to cover the nose and mouth;
(iii) transportation; and
(iv) sanitisation and social distancing measures as per the relevant health protocols on safety and prevention of the spread of COVID-19.
(3) (a) A foreign tourist who arrived in the Republic prior to the period of lockdown, which ended on 30 April 2020, and who remained in the Republic-
(i) must remain in his or her place of temporary residence until otherwise determined by the Cabinet member responsible for international relations and cooperation; and
(ii) may be subject to screening for COVID-19 and be quarantined or isolated, as required.
(b) The evacuation of foreign tourists may be allowed where arrangements, including an arrangement for evacuation by air charter, have been made by the relevant embassy: Provided that a tourist who is escorted to the point of exit may be screened again.
Movement of cargo from our sea-ports to its final destination is allowed. Similarly, full operations for the port of Mossel Bay and port of Saldanha Bay for movement of Cargo will be permitted. Furthermore, allowance will be made for South African registered seafarers to embark and disembark ships with a mandatory quarantine for those returning. To this extent, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) shall be directed to issue a Marine Notice to this effect.
All international passenger flights are prohibited except those flights authorised by the Minister of Transport.
Limited domestic air travel for business purposes will be allowed, subject to restrictions on the number of flights per day and authorization based on the reason for travel. The availability of port health services will also guide the scheduling of flights. The resumption of domestic flights will be rolled out in three phases.
Guided by these considerations, commercial aircraft movement will be allowed from these airports:
- OR Tambo International Airport
- Cape Town International Airport
- King Shaka International Airport, and
- Lanseria International Airport
Domestic passenger flights are permitted from these airports:
- Bram Fischer International Airport
- Cape Town International Airport
- East London Airport
- George Airport
- Kimberley Airport
- King Shaka International Airport
- Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
- Lanseria International Airport
- OR Tambo International Airport
- Pietermaritzburg Airport
- Port Elizabeth International Airport
- Richardsbay Airport
- Skukuza Airport; and
- Upington International Airport.
All aerial work to conduct the following will be permitted from 01 July 2020:
(a) agricultural spraying, seeding and dusting;
(b) cloud spraying, seeding and dusting;
(e) aerial harvesting;
(f) aerial patrol, observation and survey;
(g) aerial advertisement, including banner towing and other towing of objects;
(h) search and rescue;
(j) aerial recording by photographic or electronic means;
(k) fire spotting, control and fighting; and
(l) spraying, seeding or dusting other than for agricultural purposes and clouds.
General Aviation is permitted for the following purposes:
(a) Approved Regional re-positioning flights for all South African and foreign registered aircraft into and from South Africa for return after maintenance and repair, to perform maintenance and repair or to continue with contractual work within South Africa or foreign countries within the region;
(b) Exchanging of crew members operating in foreign countries as and when required; and
(c) Transporting of aviation technicians, mechanics and engineers internationally for essential support and assistance to aircraft.
(d) Proficiency flights provided that the flight is authorised by the South African Civil Aviation Authority and remains within the general flying area, airfield or airport boundaries.
(e) Recreational aviation is permitted for proficiency flights provided that the flight is authorised by the South African Civil Aviation Authority and remains within the general flying area, airfield or airport boundaries.
Limited domestic air travel also means that flights will only be allowed to depart and land at selected airports in a phased manner as earlier explained.
Only passengers will be allowed inside the terminal buildings. Therefore, no accompanying members of the public will be allowed inside the terminal buildings.
Temperature screening will be conducted at the terminal building entrances, before any passenger is allowed entry.
No passengers will be allowed inside the terminal buildings without masks.
At boarding gates, boarding will be staggered and prioritized in terms of the number of passengers to board. Sectional boarding will be implemented to avoid unnecessary contact inside the aircraft.
Inside the cabin, full capacity will be allowed. It must be noted that the risk of COVID-19 infection onboard a commercial passenger airliner is lower than in many other confined spaces. All our commercial aircrafts are fitted with the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. These are manufactured to the same standard as those used in hospital operating theatres and industrial clean rooms, with the same efficacy of 99.97% in removing viruses.
While the total air supply inside the cabin is essentially sterile and particle free, the biggest risk is if someone enters or remains in that environment, while unwell with a viral infection. This risk will be mitigated through the adoption of effective sanitization and personal hygiene protocols.
The following measures will apply inside the cabin of the aircraft:
- no catering will be allowed;
- no magazines on board;
- the last row will be reserved for isolation of suspected cases.
All aircrafts must be disinfected before entering into service and after each flight;
Loading capacity for all airport buses must be limited to 70%. These buses must be disinfected after off-loading. Drivers, baggage handlers and ground handlers must be fully equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
On arrival, all passengers must be screened as they enter the terminal building. Suspected cases must be referred to Port Health.
When we presented Level 4 Directions, we indicated that commuter rail will resume operations gradually on an incremental basis, based on detailed plans submitted by operators. Indeed, the Gautrain resumed its operations at the beginning of May 2020. As on 1 June 2020, the Gautrain will resume the airport service.
We have concluded that PRASA is not ready to resume with the Metrorail commuter service. We have therefore revised our timelines in respect of the resumption of the Metrorail commuter service. The revised target date is now 1 July 2020, on the following lines:
- Pretoria to Pienaarspoort;
- Cape Town to Simonstown;
- East London to Berlin; and
- Port Elizabeth to Uitenhage
Long distance trains remain prohibited.
Every person is confined to his or her place of residence from 21H00 until 04H00 daily, except where a person has been granted a permit, which corresponds with Form 2 of Annexure A, to perform a service permitted under Alert Level 3, or is attending to a security or medical emergency. (Gazette 43521 of 12 July 2020)
With the increase in the number of people returning to work and learners and students returning to institutions of learning, long distance public transport crossing Provincial, Metropolitan or District boundaries is permitted to operate. The condition for such operation is that public transport vehicles are only permitted to transport persons permitted to travel between Provinces in terms of the Regulations. Such travel is only restricted to:
- Persons undertaking work responsibilities or performing a service permitted under Alert Level 3, provided they are in possession of the requisite permit.
- Persons moving to a new place of residence;
- Persons caring for an immediate family member;
- Learners or students who have to commute to and from those schools or institutions of higher learning during periods when those schools or institutions are permitted to operate.
- Attendance of funerals;
- Transportation of mortal remains;
- Obtaining medical treatment;
- Persons returning to their place of residence from a quarantine or isolation facility;
- Movement of children; and
- Members of Parliament performing oversight responsibilities.
Bus and taxi services may operate under the following conditions:
(a) May not carry more than 70% of the licensed capacity for long distance intra-provincial and permitted inter-provincial travel; and
(b) may carry 100% of the licensed capacity for any trip not regarded as long distance travel.
- eHailing and Metred Taxis remain at 50% loading capacity
- Shuttle, Chauffer and Charter services remain at 50% loading capacity.
Permitted overseas travel for South Africans
Approved essential travel for South Africans who want to return to countries where they are based. (Statement by Department of Home Affairs)
South Africans who wish to leave the Republic are permitted to depart only for the following reasons:
- Family reunion
- Take up permanent residency
- Receive medical attention
South Africans wishing to return to the countries where they reside should have the following:
(a) A copy of their valid South African passport
(b) A letter confirming their admissibility under the current circumstances from the embassy or other diplomatic/consular representative of the country they want to travel to. If returning by road or connecting via flights, the proof submitted needs to include permission from each transiting country.
(c) Proof of means of travel such as air or bus tickets and the intended date of departure.
South Africans who fall in these categories and satisfy the criteria can send an email to Covid19travel@dha.gov.za.
An email will be sent to travellers who meet the criteria to enable them to proceed with their travel arrangements.
People applying as a group can send one email with the supporting documents for each member of the group.
PUBLIC ENQUIRIES: 0800 60 11 90
Amended directions on the once-off movement of persons and transportation of goods (Gazette 43320 of 14 May 2020)
3. (a) A person who needs to travel to his or her new place of residence or business and to transport goods which are limited to household or office furniture and effects. as required by the circumstances in paragraph 2 of these Directions. is permitted to do so during Alert level 4.
(b) A person referred to in subparagraph (a) must -
(i) obtain a permit to travel across provincial, metropolitan or district boundaries from the head of court or a person designated by him or her, or the station commander of a police station or a person designated by him or her. The permit must correspond with Form 1 to these Directions;
(ii) indicate the persons who are part of the household who will be required to move; and
(iii) have in his or her possession the relevant lease agreements indicating the date of expiry of the old lease or the date of commencement of the new lease, or the proof of purchase of residence and occupation date. or the transfer documents attesting to the change of ownership of property, or a domestic violence order, or proof of change or new occupation of business premises.
Directions to permit travel of final year medical students (Gazette 43319 of 13 May 2020)
Allow for the once off travel of final year medical students studying at public higher education institutions to travel from their homes to the university campus where they are registered for study during the period 8 -31 May 2020.
Amended directions on movements of persons and goods (Gazette 43293 of 7 May 2020)
2 (a) The movement of persons and goods, where -
(i) new lease agreements were entered into before or during the lockdown period: or
(ii) the transfer of immovable property occurred before the lockdown period, requires a change in place of residence. including the transport of goods to a new place of residence, within the Republic.
(b) The circumstances in subparagraph (a) require the once-off movement of persons who are relocating to their new place of residence, as permitted in terms of regulation 16(5): and
(c) The transport of goods within the Republic is permitted in terms of regulation 22(1)(f).
In respect of maritime transport, there will be no changes to the Directions regulating the movement of ships. The ban on passenger vessels and cruise liners remains in place, and only vessels bringing in cargo are allowed to call on our ports.
However, we will allow the movement of cargo from our sea-ports to either warehouses or final destinations as provided for in the current rules.
The ban on both domestic and international passenger flights remains in place. However, as is already the case, we will continue to allow repatriation flights either bringing back South Africans stranded in foreign countries or transporting foreign nationals to their home countries. The current approval procedures to permit departure or landing of such flights remains unchanged.
The easing of the lockdown to Level 4 means increased economic activity in sectors that are permitted to resume operations.
Due consideration will be given to the mining and agricultural sector to allow limited movement of aircrafts, either to transport essential workers by chartered aircrafts or to spray pesticides on crops. All these movements will be subject to approval and permits will be issued on a case by case basis.
No scheduled domestic flights will be permitted in Level 4. This is determined by the Risk Adjusted Strategy, which guides the easing of restrictions. Once the alert level moves to Level 3, limited movement of scheduled domestic flights will be allowed. It is only when the country’s alert level reaches Level 2, that we will fully open our airspace and allow movement of both domestic and international flights.
With the gradual resumption of economic activity in certain sectors and permitted movement of freight, we will allow the full resumption of freight rail.
Commuter rail will resume operations gradually on an incremental basis, based on the detailed plans submitted by the passenger rail operators. Limited services with strict measures to ensure social distancing and other mitigation measures, will be introduced.
Gautrain operations will be gradually re-introduced in all rail-based services, covering 8 of their 9 stations. There will be no airport service.
An appropriate load factor will be applied by all operators based on their seating and standing arrangements according to 50% standard coach occupancy.
Gautrain will mark out areas of the station to demarcate where to stand and queue appropriately, based on one passenger per square metre.
The Gautrain seating arrangement will consist alternate seats to allow regulated spacing and control based on average one passenger per square metre.
Operating staff in completion of service, will operate from 5h00 to 12h00 and 15h00 with an appropriate peak hour service. The last trains will depart at 18h00 to clear the system by 19h00.
To allow for travelling of operating staff and completion of service, the Gautrain will operate from 05h00 to 12h00 and 15h00 to 20h00 with an appropriate peak hour service.
Maintenance staff will be permitted to move in and around the system during curfew-hours (22h00pm – 04h00). Maintenance vehicles will only be permitted to move around the system in these hours only.
PRASA will similarly adopt a gradual re-introduction of its services based on its capacity to manage crowds, implement effective social distancing and implement other mitigation measures that include cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, trains and stations.
PRASA will undertake the compulsory testing of the rolling stock during the Level 4 period and only resume with a limited service once the National Coronavirus Command Council declares the risk-adjustment to Level 3, with the return of the Pienaarspoort line in Tshwane and the Southern line in Cape Town.
There will be no immediate resumption of Metrorail commuter services until we have satisfied ourselves that the risk of transmission is manageable on a corridor by corridor basis.
Long distance trains are still prohibited in Level 4.
Cross-Border Road Transport
Cross-Border road passenger movement remains prohibited. Only essential cargo will be allowed to move across our land borders. The definition of essential cargo has been broadened in the Level 4 Regulations published on 29 April 2020. The SADC Protocol on COVID-19 is applicable. It also details the goods that should to be allowed by member states to move across land borders.
Public Transport (see Gazette 43348 for amendments)
As per Gazette 43348 of 22 May
(a) Intra-provincial, metropolitan areas and districts public transport is permitted to operate.
(b) The transporation of persons rendering essential or permitted services must be in line with the operating shifts or work time schedules as determined by the responsible head of operations, Manager or Head of Department of an institution or a person with responsible authority within such institution; and
(c) The use of transport for food delivery services is permitted.'
With the country moving to Level 4 and more people returning to work, we have revised the operating hours for all road-based public transport modes.
All road-based public transport services are permitted to operate from 05h00 until 19h00, with a grace period of 1 hour in the afternoon to complete their trips and drop off passengers. This includes minibus-taxis, buses, metered taxis, e-hailing services, charter and shuttle services.
No public transport is allowed on the road between 20h00 and 05h00. Sanitisation principles currently applicable to public transport vehicles and facilities remain.
No person is allowed to use of public transport who is not wearing a face mask. We call on the pubic to ensure strict adherence to this requirement by obtaining their own face masks in line with the guidance given by Minister Dlamini-Zuma. While government may provide limited assistance in ensuring availability of masks, the onus rests on each individual to ensure that they do not leave home without a mask.
Loading capacity for minibus-taxis remains at 70% of licensed passengers, with social distancing and other mitigating measures remaining in place.
eHailing and Metered Taxis
Loading capacity for metered taxis and e-hailing services remains at 50%. A 5-seater vehicle is permitted to carry a maximum of 2 passengers and a driver.
Buses will be allowed to transport 70% passengers of their licensed loading capacity, with requisite social distancing, wearing of masks by all passenger and other mitigating measures.
Shuttle and Chauffeur Services
Shuttle and Chauffeur services will be subject to the same rules as other road-based public transport modes. Both the Shuttle and Chauffeur services will only be permitted for transportation of people undertaking essential work and those economic sectors allowed to return back to work under level 4. Loading capacity of 50% is equally applicable to these services.
Charter services will be subject to the same rules as other road-based public transport modes. This service is only be permitted for transportation of people undertaking essential work. Loading capacity of 50% is equally applicable to these services.
A number of companies, particularly in the mining sector, work 3 shifts, resulting in employees finishing work outside the permitted public transport operating hours.
These companies may make use of charter services. Operators of vehicles undertaking this service must be identifiable as such for purposes of law enforcement.
Delivery Services such as Uber Eats, Mr Delivery and any other similar service are permitted to operate between 09h00 and 19h00 only for delivery of food.
Courier Services are permitted to operate in the delivery of any goods permitted for sale in the Level 4 Regulations.
It should however be noted that the wholesale sector has been allowed to return back to service and amongst the sub-sectors allowed to trade is the e-Commerce that includes on-line shopping for items such as personal ICT equipment and other goods. This sector is reliant on the Courier services to deliver its goods to customers at their homes.
Travel Between Provinces, Metros and Districts
Travel between Provinces, Metropolitan areas and Districts is prohibited, with concessions made for workers who have to commute to and from work on a daily basis, attendance of funerals and transportation of mortal remains.
The Minister of COGTA has published Regulations allowing a once-off special dispensation for persons who were not at their places of residence before the lockdown period and who could not travel between Provinces, Metropolitan and District areas during the lockdown, to return to their homes. Those people are now permitted to travel between 1 May 2020 and 7 May 2020 in line with the COGTA Regulations.
Long distance bus and taxi operators are allowed to undertake long distance travel during this window period. Full compliance with the 70% passenger capacity, wearing of masks by all passengers and sanitisation of vehicles at the completion of each journey is a mandatory requirement.
Driving schools will be permitted to resume their activities subject to effective social distancing and sanitizing measures. Both the instructor and the learner must wear face masks at all times.
Servicing of vehicles of personnel performing emergency services is permitted under Level 4. This also includes the importation of spares for service purposes and for manufacturing. Emergency spares are also allowed to be on sale.
Repairs and fitments to vehicles utilized for emergency and essential services is permitted.
Emergency Services & Roadside Assistance
The Emergency services and roadside services for all is allowed. This also includes towing services and support with breakdown of vehicles.
Drivers’ Licence Testing Centres and Vehicle Testing Centres
Drivers’ Licence Testing Centres and Vehicle Testing Centres will gradually re-open for essential service workers to renew their drivers’ and vehicle licenses.
The opening of the Driver's Licence Testing Centres (DLTCs) will be staggered once inspection and verification of the state of readiness is done on all of them. The Metro based DLTCs will be opened first from 1 June 2020.
We will issue Directions to limit the daily numbers of people that can be attended to, while restricting bookings to online platforms.
The nation-wide lockdown will be enacted in terms of the Disaster Management Act and will entail the following:
- From midnight on Thursday 26 March until the end of April all South Africans will have to stay at home.
- The categories of people who will be exempted from this lockdown are the following: health workers in the public and private sectors, emergency personnel, those in security services – such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers – and other persons necessary for our response to the pandemic.
It will also include those involved in the production, distribution and supply of food and basic goods, essential banking services, the maintenance of power, water and telecommunications services, laboratory services, and the provision of medical and hygiene products. A full list of essential personnel will be published.
- Individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances, such as to seek medical care, buy food, medicine and other supplies or collect a social grant.
- Temporary shelters that meet the necessary hygiene standards will be identified for homeless people. Sites are also being identified for quarantine and self-isolation for people who cannot self-isolate at home.
- All shops and businesses will be closed, except for pharmacies, laboratories, banks, essential financial and payment services, including the JSE, supermarkets, petrol stations and health care providers.
Ceasing of passenger and commuter Rail Operations (Gazette 43159 of 26 March 2020)
(1) All long- distance rail services, both public and private, must stop operations for the duration of the lockdown.
(2) Services of Shosholoza Meyl, Premier Class and Blue Train operated by PRASA and Transnet have been suspended .
(3) The private rail operators such as Rovos Rail must cease operation.
(4) All commuter rail services must stop operations for the duration of the lockdown including all Metrorail and Gautrain.
rohibition of International and Domestic Flights (Gazette 43189 of 31 March 2020)
(1) All international and domestic passenger flights are prohibited irrespective of the risk category of the country of origin except those flights especially authorised by the Minister of Transport for the evacuation of South African Nationals in foreign countries.
Repatriation (Gazette 43189 of 31 March 2020)
(2) (a) Repatriation of foreign national from South Africa back to their respective countries is allowed provided the following conditions are adhered to:
(i) Foreign Countries must charter their aircraft to South Africa without passengers except with the crew.
(ii) The crew is not be allowed to disembark.
Evacuation (Gazette 43189 of 31 March 2020)
(3) (a) Evacuation of South African citizens who desires to come back home is allowed provided:
(i) He or she has a fully paid return flight ticket;
(ii) On arrival they will be subjected to mandatory quarantine for a period of up to 21 days; and
(iii) The crew shall be allowed to disembark subject to mandatory quarantine laws as may be applicable.
(4) (a) The following technical flights are allowed:
(i) Medical evacuation flights;
(ii) Aircraft in a state of emergency;
(iv) Technical landings for refuelling ;
(v) Aircraft operations related to humanitarian aid, relief flights and other safety related operations.
(b) Medical evacuation flights should not carry passengers except, patients and crew that will upon landing shall be subjected to mandatory quarantine laws as may be applicable.
(c) Technical landing flights are allowed on condition that no passenger may disembark.
(5) The following Airports should have standby operational staff who will receive aircraft that are in distress.
(i) Port Elizabeth;
(ii) Bram Fischer;
(v) Kruger Mpumalanga.
(6) Disembarkation of Flight Cargo Crew is permitted on condition that it will be subjected Quarantine laws applicable in South Africa.
(1) The following International Airports Designated as Ports of Entry have Port Health capability and are ready to handle air cargo and services:
(a) O.R Tambo;
(b) King Shaka;
(e) Bram Fischer;
(f) Kruger Mpumalanga;
(g) Pilanesberg; and
(h) Port Elizabeth; and
(i) Cape Town.
(2) Lanseria International Airport must not allow the landings and departures of any international flights for the duration of the lockdown.
(1) The loading and off -loading of air cargo in and out of International Airports Designated as Ports of Entry is permitted.
(2) (a) Air cargo from medium to high risk countries must be sanitised immediately after being off- loaded from the aircraft.
(b) Sanitisation of cargo must be applied to air cargo carried by any South African aircraft coming from medium to high risk countries.
Embarkation and disembarkation of foreign nationals at international airports designated as Ports of Entry (Gazette 43105 of 18 March 2020)
(1) Crew from high risk countries shall be subjected to medical screening and quarantined up to 21 days.
(2) Disembarkation of foreign nationals from high risk countries is suspended on all airports until further notice.
(3) Embarkation and disembarkation is permissible under the following circumstances: -
(a) disembarkation of a returning South African citizen and permanent residents.
(b) embarkation of a departing foreign national.
(c) disembarkation of a declared medical emergency of foreign nationals must be approved by the Port Health Services.
(4) South African citizens and permanent residents are advised to refrain from all use of air travel until further notice.
(5) The loading and off -loading of cargo in and out of airports is permitted.
Charter Operators (Gazette 43105 of 18 March 2020)
(1) All Charter Operators for the duration of this regulations, are required to operate in the International Airports that have the Ports Health capability and be subjected to Health assessment.
(2) The following International Airports have the necessary capacity and will be ready to handle the Charter flights:
a) O R Tambo
c) King Shaka
f) Bram Fischer
g) Kruger Mpumalanga
i) Port Elizabeth; and
i) Cape Town
Countries impacted by South Africa's travel restrictions. (Gazette 43105 of 18 March 2020)
(1) South Africa has restriction access to foreign nationals and travellers from (High Risk Countries)
e) South Korea
g) United Kingdom
h) United States of America
(2) South Africa has imposed extra screening measures on people from places such as: (Medium Risk)
a) Hong Kong
This list is subject to change in line with risk rating of World Health Organization (WHO).
Provision of improved access and hygiene, disinfection control on all public transport facilities. (Gazette 43157, 26 March 2020)
All owners of public transport facilities must on regular intervals provide adequate sanitizers or other hygiene dispenser for washing of hands and disinfection equipment for users of public transport services for the duration of the directions.
Embarkation of public transport passengers in the public transport vehicles (Gazette 43157, 26 March 2020)
(1) All operators must ensure that public transport vehicles are sanitized before picking up and after dropping off passengers.
(2) Operators must ensure that all public transport vehicles door and window handles, arm -rest and hand rails are sanitized before picking up and dropping off passengers.
(3) Operators must ensure that all public transport vehicles are clean and tidy.
(4) All public transport operators must provide disinfection information materials and procedures.
(5) All drivers must wear a mask.
(6) Any marshal who interacts with members of the public in public transport facility should wear a mask.
(7) The sanitisers used to sanitise all public transport vehicles must have a minimum of 60% alcohol content.
(1) All long distance and inter-provincial services are prohibited for the duration of the lockdown.
(2) Transportation of passengers by buses is prohibited except when the bus is used for purposes of fearing passengers rendering essential services.
(3) Public Transport permitted to ferry essential services workers will operate from 05h00 to 10h00 and from 16h00 to 20h00.
(4) Buses and taxis shall be permitted to operate from 05h00 until 20h00 in order to cater the transportation needs of South Africans most vulnerable which is effective from 30 March 2020 until 03 April 2020
(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of direction (3), public transport is provided with the following grace periods for picking up and dropping off, of passengers:
(a) Minibuses and Midibuses Public Transport is permitted to proceed to a pickup point an hour before the operating times, which is from 05h00 to 10h00 without loading passengers; and
(b) Minibuses and Midibuses Public Transport is permitted to proceed to drop off points an hour after the drop off time of 10h00 which would be 11h00.
(c) Minibuses and Midibuses Public Transport is permitted to proceed to a pick-up point without loading passengers at 15h00 in order to start picking up at 16h00 to 20h00 to finish dropping off passengers at 21h00.
6) (a) During the lock -down period and unless determined by the Minister of Transport, private institutions or companies may make arrangements for the transportation of their workers who are rendering essentials services as listed in Annexure B of Disaster Management Act 2002, Amendment Regulations issues in terms of Section 27 (2) in line with the operating shifts, work time schedules as determined by the responsible head of operations, Manager, Head of the Department or a person with responsible authority within such institution; and
(b) The operating shifts or work schedules or time table should be stamped and signed by such person with authority as contemplated in direction 6(6) (a) above."
Prohibition of standing in a public transport vehicle (Gazette 43157, 26 March 2020)
(1) No person is allowed to stand in a public transport vehicle.
Loading capacity of road public transport (sedan, minibus, midibus) (As amended by Gazette 43212 of 7 April 2020)
(1) A public transport sedan is limited to carrying not more than 50% of its permissible passenger carrying capacity.
(2) During the lockdown period, the following public transport vehicles must not carry more than 70% of their maximum licensed passenger seating capacity as follows:
(a) A minibus licensed to carry 10 passengers, is limited to carry a maximum of 7 passengers;
(b) a minibus licensed to carry 15 passengers, is limited to carry the maximum of 10 passengers; and
(c) a midibus licensed to carry a maximum of 22 passengers, is limited to carry a maximum of 15 passengers.
(3) All public transport operators must put measures in place to adhere to social distancing to curb the spread of COVID -19.
Buses and Taxis
Effective from 30 March 2020 until Friday, 3 April 2020, buses and taxis will be permitted to operate from 05:00 until 20:00 in order to cater to the transportation needs of society’s most vulnerable. (https://www.gov.za/speeches/minister-fikile-mbalula-relaxas-hours-public-transport-vehicles-grant-beneficiaries-29-mar)
Cross-Border Road Transport
Prohibition to provide cross -border road transport (Gazette 43158 of 26 March 2020)
(1) Despite any permit issued in terms of the Act, no person may provide cross -border Road Passenger transport for the duration of lockdown.
(2) Cross -Border freight movement will continue to and from our neighbouring countries.
Prohibition on cruise ships calling at any of the sea ports (Gazette 43163 of 26 March 2020)
(1) No crew changes are permitted in all commercial ports until further notice.
(2) Cruise ships are prohibited from calling at any of the sea ports except the disembarkation of a returning South African crew and a permanent resident.
(3) South African citizens and permanent residents are advised to refrain from use of this form of travel until further notice.
(4) The loading and off -loading of cargo in and out of commercial ports is permitted.
Embarkation and disembarkation of persons at a South African sea port (Gazette 43103 of 18 March 2020)
(1) No passengers or crew changes are permitted in the designated ports until further notice.
(2) Embarkation and disembarkation of passengers are suspended on all sea ports until further notice unless under the following circumstances: -
(a) disembarkation of a returning South African citizen and a permanent resident.
(b) embarkation of a departing foreign national.
(c) emergency medical evacuation shall be managed utilising the existing Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre protocols.
(3) South African citizens and permanent residents are advised to refrain from use of this form of travel until further notice.
(4). The loading and off-loading of cargo in and out of all sea ports is permitted.
Prohibition of Passenger Vessels visiting South African Sea Ports (Gazette 43211 of 7 April 2020)
(1) All passenger vessels are prohibited from disembarking any passengers or crew at any of South African sea ports.
(2) Passenger vessels will be allowed to call at any of South African sea ports only for the following purposes:
(a) Disembarking South African crew;
(b) Disembarking returning South African citizens and holders of permanent resident permit;
(c) Replenishing fuel, stores and provisions.
(3) The crew shall be allowed to disembark subject to mandatory quarantine laws as may be applicable.
(4) All other cargo vessels will be allowed into all the sea ports for purposes of cargo works, replenishing fuel and provisions.
Repatriation of South African Seafarers (Gazette 43211 of 7 April 2020)
(5) (a) Repatriation of South African seafarers:
(i) South African seafarers returning to South Africa via any of the sea ports will be allowed to disembark;
(ii) South African seafarers returning to South Africa via any means other than a ship calling at a sea ports will be subjected to the provisions of the applicable laws that govern the respective mode of transportation they use; and
(iii) All returning seafarers will be subjected to a quarantine period of up to 21 days as well as any measures put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
Evacuation (Gazette 43211 of 7 April 2020)
6) (a) Evacuation of seafarers and passengers on board all ships along the South African coastline will be allowed in terms of Search and Rescue as well as the
Merchant Shipping Act, 1957 (Act No. 57 of 1957) and subject to the following:
(i) The evacuation must comply with the provisions of Medical Evacuations as contained in the South African Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue Act, 2002 (Act No. 44 of 2002) ;
(ii) The evacuation to be carried out in terms of the approved Standard Operating Procedures for evacuation as contained in the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center Manual obtainable from the South African Maritime Safety Authority website; and
(iii) All evacuated patients will be subjected to mandatory quarantine for a period of up to 21 days.
(7) (a) The following ships are allowed:
(í) Cargo working ships;
(ii) Passenger vessels allowed only for purposes of disembarking SA crew and returning SA citizens;
(iii) Ships calling for refuelling and supplies.
(8) The following sea ports are open for purposes of handling cargo, refuelling and ship supplies:
(i) Richards Bay;
(iii) East London;
(y) Port Elizabeth;
(vii) Cape Town;
(viii) Saldanha Bay.