Covid testing requirements are being relaxed in South Africa for incoming travelers from today, it has been confirmed.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a string of changes to the country’s current restrictions yesterday as it continues to recover from the worst of the pandemic.
Vaccinated travelers will no longer be required to show evidence of a negative PCR test when entering South Africa.
International visitors who are unable to show proof of a vaccination will be required to test negative on a PCR test, which should be taken at least 72 hours before travel.
President Ramaphosa tweeted on Tuesday: “Over the past two years, we have taken unprecedented actions to strengthen our health system. We hired more people to deal with the pandemic, built more hospital and laboratory capacity and ensure that Covid patients are well cared for in our hospitals.
“We are now at a watershed moment. We are now ready to enter a new phase in our management of the pandemic.
“After four waves of infection, fewer people are becoming severely ill and requiring hospitalisation. There are far fewer deaths than before.”
He then added: “There are changes to the regulations on international travel.
“Travellers entering South Africa will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours.
“All unvaccinated travelers entering the country who want to be vaccinated will be offered a vaccination.”
The news comes less than a week after all Covid travel rules for people arriving in Scotland came to an end.
This saw pre-travel tests and unvaccinated passengers scrapped and passenger locator forms for all travelers axed.
Scottish Government officials said that it ‘reluctantly’ agreed to remove the restrictions following a meeting with representatives of all four nations of the UK.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “These measures significantly open up international travel and were agreed on a UK wide basis despite the Scottish Government raising concerns about the lack of border controls.
“However, we recognize the benefits of acting on a four nation basis and this will bring a high degree of normality back to travel and is extremely welcome for Scottish tourism, the aviation sector and travelers alike.
“There will be continued surveillance by the UK Health Security Agency to monitor for developments of concern and a contingency toolkit is being progressed which will enable an agile and rapid response in future to any changes.
“This could include tailored restrictions where appropriate and people may wish to continue to observe sensible measures while traveling such as frequent hand washing and respecting social distancing.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.