Cape Town – Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has reiterated that tourists from high risk countries were still banned from travelling to South Africa as the battle against Covid-19 was not over.
Mbalula told the media on Friday they will however allow people from high risk areas who are coming to South Africa for business, research or sport.
The briefing by the minister comes after the government issued regulations on level 1 that international travel was allowed from countries not facing the high risk of infections.
This week the government issued a list of high risk areas including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, India and other countries in the world.
However, tourists from the continent and other low risk areas were allowed to visit South Africa.
Mbalula said it was too early to allow the mass movement of people from high risk countries.
“We don’t expect an airline to allow people to board who are not compliant with South African laws. With Covid-19, before you depart from your hometown, whichever country you are from, you must know the package of our laws,” said Mbalula.
He said the only people who can come from the high risk countries were business people, those doing research and sports people, but not tourists.
He said tourists from high risk areas would have to wait until there were further relaxations of the regulations.
Mbalula would not say how soon they will allow tourists from these countries back into the country.
But the minister also said South Africans who want to visit high risk areas for leisure purposes were allowed to do so.
They will be subjected to the regulations and health protocols of those countries, he said.
Mbalula said when South Africans return from high risk countries they will be allowed into the country, but subjected to the health protocols.