Pandor: Govt relied on WHO guidelines to determine COVID-19 high-risk countries

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At a joint ministerial briefing in Pretoria on Wednesday on the new transport regulations under lockdown level 1, the minister said the data of the countries allowed in the country would be reviewed every two weeks.

FILE: International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor at a press briefing on 21 May 2020 in Pretoria on her department’s repatriation process of South Africans stranded abroad due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Picture: @DIRCO_ZA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor on Wednesday said government had consulted the World Health Organisation (WHO) before determining which countries were high risk for COVID-19 and will get limited access to the country from Thursday.

At a joint ministerial briefing in Pretoria on the new transport regulations under lockdown level 1, Pandor said that her department had assessed the situation and travellers would be allowed in with precautions being taken.

“Many countries relied on the WHO guidelines to determine action when reopening international travel,” the minister said.

Visitors to the country would need to take precautions and will also be screened on arrival.

“Travellers that intend visiting our 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,” Pandor said.

All travellers testing positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in South Africa would be forced to undertake mandatory 10-day quarantine at a state facility at their own cost. She also stressed that travellers were now required to have travel insurance which would cover testing and a stay at a quarantine facility where necessary.

Pandor said the data of the countries allowed in the country would be reviewed every two weeks.

LIST OF HIGH-RISK COUNTRIES:

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