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Coronavirus travel advice and FAQs – everything you need to know

26 March 2020

South Africa to enter Nationwide lockdown

A nationwide lockdown in South Africa will come into effect as of midnight, Thursday 26 March 2020. All international and domestic flights are prohibited, irrespective of the risk category of the country of origin. Airlines have adjusted their schedules and capacity to ensure that flights arrive and depart prior to the lockdown coming into effect.

 

A full overview of President Ramaphosa's speech from 23 March 2020 can be found CLICK HERE

We understand that these are challenging times and we are here to support you in any way possible. We are proactively contacting our customers to assist with changes to their immediate travel. Should you have any questions, please contact your dedicated Travel Expert. Call volumes may be higher than normal and our Travel Experts are assisting customers with (immediate departures). You can locate their details on your travel documentation or CLICK HERE

Should you be unable to return to your country of origin during this time, contact your nearest Mission. A list of South Africa Missions abroad can be found HERE

23 March 2020

SAA suspends regional and international flights until 31 May 2020

South African Airways "SAA" has announced that it will immediately suspend all regional flights until 31 May 2020, in addition to all international flights suspended last week. The decision to suspend all regional and international flights is in response to a government travel ban aimed at stopping the transmission of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

For more information related to travel bans and restrictions, please CLICK HERE

For more information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we recommend the following websites;
The World Health Organisation "WHO" - CLICK HERE
National Institute for Communicable Diseases "NICD" - CLICK HERE
Association of South African Travel Agents "ASATA" - CLICK HERE

We understand that these are challenging times, and we are here to support you in any way possible. We are proactively contacting our customers to assist with changes to their immediate travel. Should you have any questions, please contact your dedicated Travel Expert.

Call volumes may be higher than usual, and our Travel Experts are assisting customers with bookings in order of date of departure (immediate departures over the next 14 days).

You can locate their details on your travel documentation or HERE

20 MARCH 2020

South Africa – COVID-19 update

France and Switzerland have been added to South Africa’s travel ban list.

In a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, South Africa has added France and Switzerland to the list of high-risk countries for which travel bans have been issued.

The countries were added to a list in a travel advisory issued by the Department of International Relations & Co-operation on Tuesday (March 18). Currently, destinations identified as being high-risk in terms of COVID-19 are Iran, Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, South Korea, China, Germany, US, UK, France and Switzerland. Medium-risk destinations highlighted are Singapore, Hong Kong and Portugal. Returning South Africans from all these countries will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and only get tested should they show any symptoms of COVID-19.

South Africans are advised to postpone all non-essential foreign travel. All non-essential domestic travel is discouraged.

 

UPDATE: Mauritius closes its borders to all foreign nationals effective 19 March 2020.

Mauritius will be closing its borders to all foreign nationals, including South Africans, effective 19 March 2020. The airport was closed to incoming flights as of 10:00 am on 19 March 2020. It was previously communicated that all passengers, including transits, would no longer be permitted to enter the country for a period of 14 days. The travel ban for foreign nationals has now been extended to 30 April 2020.

 

We understand that these are challenging times, and we are here to support you in any way possible. We are proactively contacting our customers to assist with changes to their immediate travel. Should you have any questions, please contact your dedicated Travel Expert.

Call volumes may be higher than usual, and our Travel Experts are assisting customers with bookings in order of date of departure (immediate departures over the next 14 days).

You can locate their details on your travel documentation or HERE

 

 

19 MARCH 2020

FLIGHT CENTRE UPDATE: MAURITIUS, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND CLOSE THEIR BORDERS

JOHANNESBURG, 19 MARCH 2020 – Flight Centre would like to advise their customers that Mauritius, Australia and New Zealand have become the latest countries to close their borders to foreign visitors.

Effective 19 March 2020, Mauritius will close its borders to all foreign nationals. Three people in the country have tested positive for COVID-19. All passengers, including transits, will not be permitted to enter the country for a period of 14 days.

Effective 19 March 2020, Australia will close its borders to all foreign nationals.

Effective midnight 19 March 2020, New Zealand will close its borders to foreign nationals.

Kenya, Canada and a host of other countries have also closed their borders to foreign visitors.

The South African Government has extended its Travel Ban for high-risk countries to include Switzerland and France. Currently, destinations identified as being high-risk in terms of COVID-19 are Iran, Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, South Korea, China, Germany, US and the UK. Medium-risk destinations highlighted are Singapore, Hong Kong and Portugal. Returning South Africans from all these countries will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and only get tested should they show any symptoms of COVID-19.

South Africans are advised to postpone all non-essential foreign travel. All non-essential domestic travel is discouraged.

The situation is evolving so rapidly that Flight Centre urges all customers to contact their travel expert with up to date information regarding any confirmed travel bookings.

Flight Centre reiterates its commitment to assisting and re-accommodating affected travellers. Travel experts are contacting all customers with bookings to affected regions to assist with rebooking and rescheduling their travel.

 

 

19 March 2020

Australia closes borders to foreign nationals - effective 20 March 2020

Australia has taken the decision to close their borders to all foreign travellers as of  21:00pm AEDT on

20 March 2020 (13:00pm RSA time). The travel ban comes into effect for non-citizens and non-residents.

Australians will still be able to return from overseas but they will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Australia. 

 

New Zealand closes borders to foreign nationals – effective midnight 19 March 2020

New Zealand had already announced plans to close its borders to foreign nationals from midnight tonight.

 

Mauritius closes its borders to all foreign nationals effective 19 March 2020

Mauritius will be closing its borders to all foreign nationals, including South Africans, effective 19 March 2020. The airport will be closed to incoming flights as of 10:00am on 19 March 2020. The Prime Minister of Mauritius confirmed on Wednesday 18 March 2020 that three people have tested positive for COVID-19. All passengers, including transits, will not be permitted to enter the country for a period of 14 days.

 

 

18 March 2020

New visa requirements for high-risk countries

Six high-risk countries – which, to date have enjoyed visa-free entry into South Africa – will now be required to apply for visas.

They are Italy, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. The decision has been made to control movement in and out of South Africa as an active measure to contain the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday 15 March 2020 that a travel ban would be imposed on a total of eight high-risk countries. Chinese and Iranian nationals would have their existing visas revoked, with no further applications processed.

South African travel bans and restrictions from 18 March 2020

The latest travel bans and restrictions instituted include:

-Travel bans effective 18 March 2020 from high-risk countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, United States, UK and China. Travellers from high-risk countries will not be permitted entry into South Africa.

-South Africans are to refrain from travel to/through high-risk countries effective immediately such as the European Union, China, Iran, South Korea, UK and USA.

-Travellers from medium-risk countries such as Portugal, Singapore and Hong Kong, need to present themselves for testing. Travellers from medium-risk countries would also need to provide a medical certificate to show that they have tested negatively for COVID-19.

-Anyone who has travelled to these countries from mid-February, need to present themselves for testing.

-Self-isolation for South Africans who have come from high-risk destinations.

-Intensified screening at all ports of entry.

-All non-essential domestic travel is discouraged.

-Gatherings of more than 100 people prohibited.

 

Indonesia

Indonesia has confirmed more COVID-19 cases. The risk of transmission is increasing across the Indonesian archipelago, including in Bali. From 20 March 2020, Indonesia will suspend visas on arrival for all visitors.

 

17 March 2020

Kenya implements travel ban.

The Kenyan government announced the travel ban following confirmation of three cases of COVID-19 in the country. Entry for people coming from any country with reported COVID-19 cases, including South Africa, is not permitted.

Only Kenyan citizens and foreigners with valid residence permits will be allowed to enter, provided they proceed to self-quarantine or go to a government-designated quarantine facility. All people who have entered the country in the last 14 days have also been ordered to self-quarantine.

The ban may be in effect for at least 2 weeks from 17 March 2020.

 

Arrivals in Hong Kong to be subject to 14-day quarantine period.

Hong Kong will quarantine arrivals in the city for 14 days from midnight on 19 March 2020 to manage and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The new restrictions will not apply to arrivals from mainland China, Macau and Taiwan.

 

Canada implements travel ban.

Canada announced yesterday that the country would bar entry to foreign travellers from 18 March 2020. Exceptions include citizens, aircrew, diplomats, immediate family members of citizens and US citizens.

 

17 March 2020

The Government of Botswana implements new measures in relation to travel and the COVID-19 outbreak

All individuals coming to Botswana from the following high-risk countries will not be allowed entry: China, Japan, South Korea, Iran, USA, UK, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and India.

Batswana and residents returning from high-risk countries will be subjected to 14-day mandatory quarantine as per protocol. Issuance of Visa at Ports of entry and at all Embassies for any person from high-risk areas is suspended with immediate effect. Current visas are cancelled with immediate effect until further notice.

Mauritian authorities have extended travel restrictions to Mauritius

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic to an increasing number of countries, the Mauritian government has extended travel restrictions to Mauritius.

  1. Effective as of Monday 16 March 2020 and up until 30 March 2020, foreign nationals having resided or with a history of travel from Reunion Island in the last 14 days will not be allowed entry or transit in the Republic of Mauritius (including Rodrigues Island).
  2. Effective as of Wednesday 18 March 2020 and until 1 April 2020, any foreign national having resided in or who has travelled to and from any member state of the European Union, United Kingdom. Ireland and Switzerland within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry or be permitted to transit in the Republic of Mauritius.

Mauritian nationals, residents, their spouse and children falling under the categories in paragraph 1 and 2 will be allowed entry in the Republic of Mauritius and will be placed in quarantine.

 

UAE and Qatar suspend the issuance of visas from 17 March 2020.

The United Arab Emirates and Qatar have announced restrictions on visas, as part of measures to contain the new coronavirus outbreak. The UAE will suspend visa issuance starting March 17; foreign diplomats would be exempted. Qatar has stopped the issuance of visas on arrival to several European nationalities as of 15 March 2020. The decision does not apply to persons who have already been issued visas before the effective date.

We understand that these are challenging times, and we are here to support you in any way possible. We are proactively contacting our customers to assist with changes to their immediate travel. Should you have any questions, please contact your dedicated Travel Expert.

Call volumes may be higher than usual, and our Travel Experts are assisting customers with bookings in order of date of departure (immediate departures over the next 14 days).

You can locate their details on your travel documentation or HERE

 

 

16 March 2020

South African Government has instituted a travel ban in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The South African Government has instituted a travel ban in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

The latest travel bans and restrictions instituted include:

*Travel bans effective 18 March 2020 to and from high-risk countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, United States, UK and China.

*Travellers from medium-risk source markets such as Portugal, Singapore and Hong Kong, need to present themselves for testing.

*Anyone who has travelled to these countries from mid-February, need to present themselves for testing.

*Self-isolation for South Africans who have come from high-risk destinations.

*Intensified screening at all ports of entry.

*All non-essential domestic travel is discouraged.

*Gatherings of more than 100 people prohibited.

We understand that these are challenging times and we are here to support you in any way possible. We are proactively contacting our customers to assist with changes to their immediate travel. Should you have any questions, please contact your dedicated Travel Expert. Call volumes may be higher than normal and our Travel Experts are assisting customers with bookings in order of date of departure (immediate departures).

You can locate their details on your travel documentation or HERE

 

15 March 2020

UAE and Qatar suspends the issuance of visas from 17 March 2020.

The United Arab Emirates and Qatar have announced restrictions on visas, as part of measures to contain the new coronavirus outbreak. The UAE will suspend visa issuance starting March 17, foreign diplomats would be exempted. Qatar will on Sunday stop issuing visas on arrival to several European nationalities. The decision does not apply to persons who have already been issued visas before the effective date.

The USA adds the United Kingdom and Ireland to the European travel ban.

The USA made the decision to ban travel from the European Schengen States from midnight on 13 March, for a period of 30 days. Initially, restrictions applied only to the 26 countries within the bloc’s Schengen free-travel zone and did not appear tied to the severity of outbreaks in individual countries. On Saturday, the USA made the decision to include the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of the European travel ban.

The 26 Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. In addition, the United Kingdom and Ireland have been included as part of the European travel ban. This ban has been implemented with the aim of containing the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID19).

Australia requires all travellers to self-isolate on arrival

From 12:00 am on 16 March, Australia requires that all travellers arriving self-isolate for a period of 14 days. This will also include Australian citizens. Any cruise ships that have sailed from a foreign port have been banned from entering Australia for a period of 30 days.

We understand that these are challenging times and we are here to support you in any way possible. We are proactively contacting our customers to assist with changes to their immediate travel. Should you have any questions, please contact your dedicated Travel Expert.

 

14 March 2020

Cruises and Tours suspended for a minimum of 30 days

We are aware of sudden changes that have been made to touring and cruising itineraries during the past 24 hours. These changes mean that most suppliers have suspended tours and cruises for the next 30 days at least. Customers who have confirmed a tour or a cruise due to depart during this time will be assisted as per the re-accommodation policy in place for the specific supplier. We understand that these are challenging times and we are here to support you in any way possible.

We are proactively contacting our customers to assist with changes to their immediate travel. Should you have any questions, please contact your dedicated Travel Expert.
You can locate their details on your travel documentation or HERE

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