The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has published a new directive which outlines how South Africans or foreign nationals may enter or leave the country during the coronavirus lockdown.
In a gazette published on Saturday (9 May), the DHA said that people may cross the country’s borders only in exceptional circumstances and with approval from Home Affairs minister, Aaron Motsoaledi.
These exceptional circumstances are outlined in more detail below.
Emergency medical attention
The directive states that a person who wishes to enter or leave for medical attention for a life-threatening condition must apply to an immigration officer at a port of entry.
This immigration officer must inform the minister of Home Affairs of the application and obtain approval for the intended travel.
The application must be supported by:
- Documentary proof of the applicant’s life-threatening condition; and
- A copy of the applicant’s valid passport.
Any person providing assistance to this ill person must also be screened and, where applicable, be subjected to mandatory quarantine.
A South African citizen or permanent resident, who wishes to enter into the country during the period of the national state of disaster, must apply 72 hours prior to the intended entry into the republic.
The directive states that this should be done through the South African mission in the country in which he or she is, or where there is no South African mission, the consular services at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
Either the mission or the department must inform the minister of Home Affairs of the application and obtain prior approval for entry.
The application must include:
- A copy of the applicant’s passport or identity card or document;
- A copy of the applicant’s permanent residence permit, if applicable;
- Details regarding the applicant’s travel itinerary in the last two months.
The directive notes that a South African citizen or permanent resident who is permitted to enter the republic must, upon arrival at the port of entry, be referred for a mandatory quarantine.
A foreigner who is to be repatriated to his or her country of nationality or permanent residence must also apply to the relevant diplomatic or consular mission in South Africa responsible for consular services pertaining to his or her country, 72 hours prior to the intended date of departure.
The directive also outlines which Home Affairs services will be operational during the level 4 lockdown.
- Reissue of birth and death certificates;
- Issuance of temporary identity certificates;
- Registration of deaths;
- Registration of birth, excluding late registration of birth;
- Collection of identity cards or documents; and
- Application for, and collection of, passports for persons engaged in the delivery of essential goods across the borders of the Republic and those travelling outside of the Republic for receiving medical services.
You can read the full gazette below: