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International travel from October 1 — but not to countries with high infection rates

Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Image: GCIS

International travel will be allowed from October 1, to and from all countries. But there will be a schedule that temporarily excludes those countries with high infection rates, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, minister of co-operative governance & traditional affairs, confirmed on Friday.

But, she added, night vigils, nightclubs, initiation schools, and international cruise ships are still off limits. Spectators are also still not allowed at sport events.

Details about the announcements are expected soon by the ministers who serve in the national coronavirus command council who will brief the media on the regulations relating to the Covid-19 level 1 restrictions.

Some of the issues Dlamini-Zuma briefly touched on include:

  • Visa applications at embassies again available, while the 18 land borders which till now had only been open for cargo, will be opened for all travel.
  • A maximum of 250 people, where prescribed social distancing can be adhered to, will be allowed for large gatherings from midnight on Sunday.
  • For outdoor venues, numbers are restricted to 500 for social, cultural or religious gatherings — but all safety protocols to be observed.
  • Gyms can now allow 50% of their capacity, instead of the maximum of 50 people allowed till now.

This is a developing story.

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With alert level 1 under way, South Africa has endured trials and tribulations since the beginning of the national lockdown. TimesLIVE sat down with vaccinology and infectious disease expert Prof Shabir Madhi from Wits University, who shed some light on what could be next for the country, and a few lessons learnt along the way. He gives an update on the vaccine trial and considers the possibilities of a second wave of infection, warning that the country is not yet out of the woods.

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