On 30 September the South African Revenue Service (SARS) Head: Customs Border Operations, Ports of Entry and Customs Compliance released a letter to ‘All External Stakeholders’, titled “Opening of Ports of Entry for International Movement of Persons and Goods”.
The letter reads:
The National Border Management Coordinating Committee issued a directive on 28 September to all its Ports of Entry Managers. The directive related to the announcement by the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, on 16 September that travel into and out of South Africa for business, leisure and other purposes will be allowed with effect from 01 October.
The directive stated that the movement of people through the ports must be subject to the following protocols as guided by the relevant regulations:
Alignment of Port Processes:
- Port Heath officials remain the first point of contact on both arrival and departure points at all operational Ports of Entry (PoE).
- On arrival, travellers will need to present negative COVID-19 test results not older than 72 hours from time of departure.
- Where a traveller has not done a COVID-19 test prior to departure, they will be required to remain in mandatory quarantine at their own cost for a period of 10 days.
- All travellers will be subjected to screening by Port Health Officials upon arrival and departure.
- All travellers detected with symptoms will be required to remain in quarantine until a repeat COVID-19 test is conducted at their own cost.
- All travellers to complete a Traveller Health Questionnaire prior to arrival or upon arrival at the PoE.
- Beside the health protocols, travellers will still be subjected to other formal border processes.
- All travellers should wear masks at all times while within the Port of Entry controlled area.
- Port officials to ensure that port users adhere to social distancing as part of queue management protocol.
- In terms of land borders, truck drivers are also required to present COVID-19 negative results upon departure from and arrival in RSA.
- In terms of truck drivers, crewmembers and frequent travellers, the COVID-19 test results will remain valid for a period of 14 days after the first movement.
- All truck drivers who test positive to be handled as per the Department of Health Guidelines.
- All other health control measures are also applicable to truck drivers.
Closed Ports of Entry:
- The 18 land borders, which were partially operational, will be fully operational, and the 35 land borders currently closed will remain closed.
Sea Ports of Entry:
- All commercial seaports of entry will be opened, including Mossel Bay and Saldanha Bay.
- Yachts and leisure crafts to ensure compliance with all Health Protocols and border processes.
- International air travel is restricted to OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town International Airports.
- It remains the responsibility of all airlines to ensure that no passenger is allowed to board the flights without valid COVID-19 test results; failure to adhere to this condition will be viewed as a contravention and might lead to administrative penalties.
Daily Scholars and Educators:
- Daily Scholars and Educators attending learning institutions in the Republic, and who are allowed entry into and exit from the Republic, are expected to comply with protocols relating to:
- Screening for COVID-19 and quarantine or isolation, where necessary;
- Wearing of a face mask;
- Transportation; and
- Sanitisation and social distancing measures as per relevant health protocols on safety and prevention of the spread of COVID-19.
The Letter is accessible at:
Story by: Riaan de Lange