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Covid-19: SA govt clarifies entry requirements for international travellers

Some international travellers were left stranded at some South African ports of entry after they reportedly produced proofs of vaccination which are not defined in the current regime of health regulations.

The neighbouring country, is in the midst of its fifth wave of Covid-19, driven by two variants related to the Omicron strain.

The frustrated international travellers took to social media to express their frustration.

“As of yesterday, South Africa is no longer accepting Zimbabwe vaccination cards,” claimed one Zimbabwean traveller.

“They said all Zimbabweans need a PCR certificate and if they don’t have one, they need to take an antigen test at the airport. It is causing chaos.”

The Namibian Newspaper also reported that its nationals travelling to South Africa were stranded at the OR Tambo International Airport.

“Stranded. Namibians going to South Africa are stuck at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, as they are required to have verifiable vaccination certificates with a QR code,” The Namibian tweeted.

In a statement, the South African government said the challenges experienced by some international travellers was that “there is no globally agreed template of proof of vaccination”.

“Thus, in order to ensure smooth and fair verification process without inconveniencing the travellers at the ports of entry, the government will, with effect from today (27 May 2022) recognise all verifiable vaccination proofs with QR Codes, either paper-based or electronic,” the statement read.

“The details on the certificate/card should correspond with the information of the traveller as they appear on the passport. However, in cases where the vaccination certificate or card is not verifiable, the Department officials have got the right to contact the relevant embassy or High Commission in South Africa to confirm a type proof of vaccination issued by respective countries.”

The government also reminded travellers that there are onsite Covid-19 testing services are available at the ports of entry for individuals who are unable to present proof of vaccination, and those who test positive and are experiencing symptoms, will be required to self-isolate.

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