Revised high risk countries not permitted in South Africa
The Government has revised the list of high risk countries based on a risk categorization model. We continue to be reminded that the Covid-19 pandemic is still with us and we need to continue to take precautions. In its last meeting, the Cabinet instructed the Ministers of Health, Home Affairs and Tourism to lead a process to review the list. The review of the list of high risk countries was done in such a way that it strikes a balance between saving lives and protecting livelihoods.
Nothing has changed as far as all travellers from the continent of Africa are concerned. They are still welcome to visit the country subject to Covid-19 protocols. People from high risk countries who may visit SA fall in the following categories: business travellers, holders of critical skills visas, investors and people on international mission in sports, arts, culture and science.
In addition, we recognise that there are a number of regular visitors from mainly European countries that have been accustomed to long periods of visitation to our country during our summer season when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Most of them own properties in the country. We appreciate the significant economic contribution that they make through their activities in the country. To this end, we will also allow visitors, in whichever category, who are coming to stay for a three months period or more subject to Covid-19 protocols.
People who need to apply must direct email requests to: Covid19BusinessTravel@dha.gov.za, supported by –
- a copy of passport and/or temporary residence visa;
- proof of business activities to be undertaken in the Republic;
- proof of travel itinerary; and
- proof of address or accommodation in the Republic.
In the first two weeks that the Covid19BusinessTravel@dha.gov.za email address had been in operation, 4 701 applications were received, mostly from investors in agriculture, manufacturing, mining and tourism. Of these applications, 3113 have been approved.
These numbers show that on average, 335 investors a day applied to visit the Republic, sending a strong message that South Africa remains an attractive investment destination.
In response to these numbers, the Department of Home Affairs has increased the capacity of people managing the email account to ensure speedier responses and we will try our best to ensure that responses are communicated within 24 hours.
The latest list of high risk countries is: