The Ministry of Home Affairs has clarified that travellers from the 10 identified high-risk countries that have been restricted from travelling to South Africa, and are currently in South Africa, would not have their visas revoked and would be given the opportunity to renew their visas if necessary.

Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, announced this at an inter-ministerial press briefing held at OR Tambo International Airport last night (March 17).

“Those who have short-term visas that will expire soon and come from high-risk countries will be given the opportunity to renew their visa if they do not want go back to their home country,” said Motsoaledi.

“The world is fighting this pandemic and South Africa will gladly keep another country’s citizens should they not be able to go to their home country. We remain in international solidarity.”

The concern on South Africans with dual-citizenship with a country on the high-risk list was addressed at this media briefing.

“South Africans with dual-citizenship will be treated as a citizen of that high-risk country, should they be returning from the country,” Motsoaledi further elaborated. “We won’t be stopping South Africans with dual-citizenship to travel to their other home country.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the nation was in a State of Disaster, and also announced a travel ban on high-risk countries. They are Italy, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. Recently, France and Switzerland have been added to the list, bringing the total to ten countries.

“The travel history of travellers from these high-risk countries applying for visas is what will be considered, not their nationality,” said Motsoaledi.

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa has communicated that travellers from high-risk countries who are on their way home will be allowed to transit through South Africa.

Those who are transiting through the country to another destination that is not their home country will not be allowed even if they are not required to clear customs.