Travellers flying into South Africa have raised concerns about needing to present proof of Covid vaccination before entering the country, with almost every country using its own unique vaccine system and passport.
Under current regulations, all inbound travellers need to present either a valid certificate or proof of vaccination against Covid-19. Importantly, the regulations state that this proof must be ‘verifiable’. Failing this, travellers coming into the country need to present a valid Covid test not older than 72 hours.
“Since there is no globally agreed template of proof of vaccination, it has come to our attention that some countries use vaccination cards with a QR Code, while others use certificates with a QR Code as a proof of vaccination,” the department of health said on Friday (27 May).
“Thus, in order to ensure smooth and fair verification process without inconveniencing the travellers at the ports of entry, the government will, with effect from today (30 May) recognise all verifiable vaccination proofs with QR Codes, either paper-based or electronic.”
The department noted that the details on the certificate/card should correspond with the information of the traveller as they appear on the passport.
However, in cases where the vaccination certificate or card is not verifiable, the Department officials have got the right to contact the relevant embassy or High Commission in South Africa to confirm a type of proof of vaccination issued by the respective countries.
“Travellers are reminded that onsite Covid-19 testing services are available at the ports of entry for individuals who are unable to present proof of vaccination, and those who test positive and are experiencing symptoms, will be required to self-isolate,” the department said.