Certain categories of people allowed to cross at border posts, despite closures

According to new Disaster Management Act regulations, movement of a certain category of people across land borders, including Beitbridge, will still be allowed, despite the closure of 15 land borders to curb the spread of Covid-19.
According to new Disaster Management Act regulations, movement of a certain category of people across land borders, including Beitbridge, will still be allowed, despite the closure of 15 land borders to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

All 15 land borders that remained open will be closed until February 15, according to the new Disaster Management Act regulations promulgated on Monday.

This is one of the notable changes to the new regulations that were promulgated to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Most other restrictions that were published in the regulations on December 28, including the ban on the sale of liquor, the closure of beaches and closure of the remaining initiation schools, remain in place.

However, this does not mean that there will be no activities at all at these border posts.

The new regulations state that the home affairs minister may allow entry or exit into SA for transportation of fuel, cargo and goods and emergency medical attention for a life-threatening condition.

The regulations also state that the minister may allow entry into or exit from SA for the return of a SA national, permanent resident and a person with a long-term residence visa.

The minister may, according to regulations, also allow entry or exit for funeral purposes, for diplomats, the deportation of foreign nationals and the departure of a foreign national to his or her country or permanent residence.

Departure of a SA national or permanent resident will be allowed to his or her place of employment, study or residence outside SA.

Regulations also permit the entry of daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend school in SA.

Their entry and exit into and from SA will be subject to compliance with protocols relating to screening for Covid-19 and quarantine or isolation, where necessary.

The regulations also provide that a person may apply for emergency travel not provided for in the regulations to the home affairs minister at covid19exceptions@dha.gov.za.

The regulations also state that international air travel is now restricted to the OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town international airports.

Regulations state that international air travel to these three points is subject to the traveller providing a valid certificate of a negative Covid-19 test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel.

Rail, ocean, air and road transport is permitted for the movement of cargo to and from other countries.

The prohibition of all social gatherings, including faith-based gatherings announced in the regulations published on December 28 — which was to have been reviewed after two weeks — remains in place in terms of the new regulations.

The new regulations also relaxed the curfew from 9pm to 6am to 9pm to 5am.

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