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Home Affairs Amends Measures to Combat COVID-19

May 12, 2020

Department of Home Affairs

The home affairs department has amended measures to prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19.

The amended directions were published in Government Gazette 43301 in terms of the Disaster Management Act.

They focus on temporary measures in respect of entry into or exit from South Africa for emergency medical attention for a life threatening condition, for the return of South African citizens and the repatriation of foreign nationals to their countries of nationality or residence in order to prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19.

As regards emergency medical attention, people that wish to enter or exit South Africa for emergency medical attention for a life-threatening condition, must apply to an immigration officer at a port of entry.

Immigration officers must then inform the home affairs minister of the application and obtain approval for the intended travel.

In terms of South African citizens or permanent residents that seek to enter South Africa during the state of disaster, applications must be made 72 hours prior to intended entry to South African missions in relevant countries or Consular Services at the international relations and cooperation department in order to obtain approval.

Foreigners who wish to be repatriated must apply to the relevant diplomatic or consular mission in South Africa 72 hours prior to the intended date of departure.

Directions on diplomats is extended to include officials of international organisations accredited to South Africa and their families.

Services to be rendered by the home affairs department during level 4 of the lockdown include the re-issuing of birth and death certificates; issuance of temporary identity certificates; registration of deaths; registration of birth, excluding late registration of birth; collection of identity cards or documents and application for, and collection of, passports for persons engaged in the delivery of essential goods across the borders of South Africa and those travelling outside of the country for receiving medical services.

The amendments came into effect on the date of publication.