By Hassan Isilow
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AA) – South Africa Thursday opened its borders to international travelers, barring those coming from high-risk countries.
The government has listed 60 countries as being high risk, including the US, the UK, Russia, and several countries in the Middle East and Latin America.
The country had closed ports of entry in March to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the government said that all travelers visiting the country will be expected to abide by the health regulations which include mandatory wearing of masks, practicing social distancing in public spaces and sanitizing hands.
Travelers are also required to produce a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test not later than 72 hours from the time of departure from their country of origin.
“This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner,” International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor told a media briefing.
She said upon arrival to a port of entry, travelers will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms or contact with people who have been infected with coronavirus.
“Travelers will also need to provide a proof of accommodation address should they need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country,” she added.
Meanwhile, the African countries are not considered high-risk countries since they have lower cases compared to South Africa.
South Africa is a popular destination for most leisure and business travelers and the reopening is expected to boost the country’s tourism sector which had been badly hit by the travel restrictions.