See here an UPDATE on the questions posted in our last news item:
- SWITZERLAND HAS BEEN ADDED TO THE LIST OF HIGH RISK COUNTRIES (US, UK, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Spain, China)
- Will any special dispensations be made (as was done for Chinese citizens) for visitors from high risk countries, who have already spent the maximum allowed time in South Africa, to obtain additional visa extensions, or even to apply for long-term visas without returning to their home country? YES, WE ARE WAITING TO SEE THE RELEVANT DIRECTIVE. FOREIGNERS ALREADY IN SOUTH AFRICA (NOT ONLY NATIONALS FROM HIGH RISK COUNTRIES) WILL BE ALLOWED TO EXTEND THEIR VISAS UP UNTIL JULY WHEN THE SITUATION WILL BE REVIEWED. GOOD REASONS FOR NOT WANTING TO RETURN HOME WILL HAVE TO BE GIVEN, ESPECIALLY WHEN NOT FROM A HIGH RISK COUNTRY.
- How will requests for visa extensions for those who arrived after 20 February from high risk countries be handled? EXTENSIONS TO PERSONS ALREADY IN THE COUNTRY WILL BE GRANTED AS PER NORMAL, SEE ALSO ABOVE.
- Does the revoking and rejecting of visas apply to visitor’s visas only? ABOUT 8000 VISAS ISSUED TO CHINESE AND IRANIAN NATIONALS SINCE JANUARY HAVE BEEN REVOKED. NO CLARITY ON VISA TYPES HAS BEEN GIVEN AS YET. Does it apply only to persons who have not yet entered South Africa? YES.
- Will the ban affect flights originating in high risk countries only, or to nationals of those countries regardless of point of departure? COUNTRY OF DEPARTURE OR RECENT SOJOURN, RATHER THAN NATIONALITY, – TO BE CONFIRMED. OFFICIALS ARE ALSO INVESTIGATING TRAVEL ITINERIES OF, AND TURNING BACK NATIONALS AND TRAVELLERS FROM HIGH RISK COUNTRIES WHO ARE FLYING VIA LOW RISK COUNTRIES TO AVOID THE TRAVEL BAN.
- Does the travel ban apply to returning permanent or long-term residents of South Africa? IT APPEARS SO. THE MINISTER’S COMMENTS SUGGESTED THAT EVEN DUAL CITIZENS OF SOUTH AFRICAN AND HIGH-RISK COUNTRY NATIONALITY WILL BE DEALT WITH (I.E. TURNED AWAY) LIKE NATIONALS OF THAT HIGH RISK COUNTRY.
- What will happen with long-term visa or permit applications already made overseas?
- What quarantine process will be followed and how will this be monitored? Will this affect onward domestic travel?
- How do you present for testing if you arrived from a high risk country after 20 February?