- Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said travel from other African countries would be allowed for business and tourism.
- She said other international travel will be subject to a schedule depending on how high infections are in each country.
- She urged South Africans to adhere even more strictly to mask wearing, hygiene and social distancing.
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has said a schedule of countries beyond the African continent allowing limited travel to South Africa will change depending on the progress each country makes in bringing down Covid-19 infections and deaths.
Dlamini-Zuma addressed reporters on Friday afternoon, following President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement on Wednesday evening that South Africa's national lockdown would shift from level 2 to level 1 starting next week Monday.
Among other things, the shift will allow more previously restricted businesses and gatherings to resume under social distancing and hygiene protocols and for the borders which exclusively took in cargo under previous lockdown level to allow travelers and tourists.
"The eighteen land borders that were open for cargo will now be open for everything, including migrants and tourists. The 35 that were closed will remain closed. We are opening the eighteen borders fully so that they can take traffic for tourists and people coming for any reason," said Dlamini-Zuma.
Dlamini-Zuma said travel from other countries on the African continent would be allowed for business and tourism, but that a schedule would guide international travel from other continents depending on the countries that travelers come from and how serious the pandemic is there.
"International travel will be allowed from 1 October. International travel on the continent is allowed to and from all countries. But other international travel will be subject to a schedule depending on how high infections are in each country, but generally will be allowed," Dlamini-Zuma said.
Dlamini-Zuma said this schedule will change depending on how infection rates change in the countries of origin or travel. She said the requirement of a 72-hour old test at international departure or arrival will also apply to South Africans returning to the country.
"The South Africans coming back, it will help if they have a certificate not longer than 72 hours, so they won’t have to be quarantined even without symptoms. If people come not tested and need quarantine, they will have to pay for it. That will be dealt with be relevant ministers," she said.
On sea and air travel, Dlamini-Zuma said: "Only the three international airports, King Shaka, Cape Town and OR Tambo will be open. Commercial seaports will be open for cargo, but will not be open for passengers or tourism. Cruise ships are still not allowed to offload people at our shores. Domestic travel will remain the same with 200km limit and mandatory wearing of masks."
She reminded reporters that level 1 lockdown conditions mean a maximum of 250 people allowed in a venue for faith gathering, regardless of the venue's size, but that the venue must only accommodate half the capacity if it is too small to accommodate 250 at one meter apart.
"For gyms and health facilities for those exercising that were only allowed 50 people, only fifty percent of the capacity of the venue can be used with social distancing at one meter apart," said Dlamini-Zuma.
She urged South Africans to adhere even more strictly to mask wearing, hygiene and social distancing, saying: "When you decide to leave your house, just consider that you may be making a life or death decision on behalf of yourself, or someone you love or someone you don't even know."