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Coronavirus: South Africa Imposes Travel Ban, Cancels Visas

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President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa on Tuesday, condemned the recent xenophobic attack on Nigerians and other foreigners in the country.
Cyril Ramaphosa

Ganiyat Ganiyu

The South African government has imposed travel ban on nationals of the United States and United Kingdom over coronavirus pandemic. 

South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, disclosed this in an address on Sunday. He said the ban will be effective from March 18.

The ban also extends to countries South African government listed as high risk countries. The countries include Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany and China.

The country has also cancelled visas previously issued to nationals of the “high risk” areas.

“We are imposing a travel ban on foreign nationals from high-risk countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and China as from 18 March 2020,” he said.

“Visa issuing to visitors from these countries is cancelled from today and previously granted visas are hereby revoked.

“Effective immediately, South African citizens are advised to refrain from all forms of travel to or through the European Union, United States, United Kingdom and other identified high-risk countries such as China, Iran and South Korea.

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“Government will continue to regularly issue travel alerts referring to specific cities, countries or regions as the situation evolves based on the risk level.

“Any person who has visited high-risk countries in the past 20 days will be denied a visa. South African citizens returning from high-risk countries will be subjected to testing and self-isolation or quarantine on return to South Africa.”

The president said travelers from medium-risk countries such as Portugal, Hong Kong and Singapore will be required to undergo “high intensity” screening.

He said all travelers who have entered South Africa from high-risk countries since mid-February will be required to present themselves for testing.

The president said starting from Monday (Today), 35 out of the 53 land ports will be shut down, and two of the eight sea ports will be closed for passengers and crew changes.

“Effective immediately, all non-essential travel for all spheres of government outside of the Republic is prohibited. We further discourage all non-essential domestic travel, particularly by air, rail, taxis and bus,” he said.

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