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Government revises list of high-risk countries

The Department of Home Affairs has revised the list of high-risk countries based on a risk categorisation model.
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"We continue to be reminded that the Covid-19 pandemic is still with us and we need to continue to take precautions," the Department of Home Affairs said in a statement on Monday.

The latest list of high-risk countries is:

• Argentina
• Germany
• Peru
• Bangladesh
• India
• Philippines
• Belgium
• Indonesia
• Russia
• Brazil
• Iran
• Spain
• Canada
• Iraq
• United Kingdom
• Chile
• Italy
• Colombia
• Mexico
• France
• Netherlands

The list of these high-risk countries will also be found on the Home Affairs website.

At its last meeting, Cabinet instructed the Ministers of Health, Home Affairs and Tourism to lead a process to review the list.

According to the department, the review of the list of high-risk countries was done in such a way that it strikes a balance between saving lives and protecting livelihoods.

"Nothing has changed as far as all travellers from the continent of Africa are concerned. They are still welcome to visit the country subject to Covid-19 protocols," Home Affairs said.

People from high risk countries, who may visit SA, fall in the following categories: business travellers, holders of critical skills visas, investors and people on international mission in sports, arts, culture and science.

"In addition, we recognise that there are a number of regular visitors from mainly European countries, who have been accustomed to long periods of visitation to our country during our summer season when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

"Most of them own properties in the country. We appreciate the significant economic contribution that they make through their activities in the country. To this end, we will also allow visitors, in whichever category, who are coming to stay for a three-month period or more subject to Covid-19 protocols," the department said.

People who need to apply must direct email requests to: az.vog.ahd@levartssenisub91divoc, supported by:

(a) A copy of passport and/or temporary residence visa

(b) Proof of business activities to be undertaken in the Republic

(c) Proof of travel itinerary and

(d) Proof of address or accommodation in the Republic

In the first two weeks that the Covid-19 BusinessTravel email address had been in operation, 4,701 applications were received, mostly from investors in agriculture, manufacturing, mining and tourism. Of these applications, 3,113 have been approved.

These numbers show that on average, 335 investors a day applied to visit the Republic, sending a strong message that South Africa remains an attractive investment destination.

"In response to these numbers, the Department of Home Affairs has increased the capacity of people managing the email account to ensure speedier responses and we will try our best to ensure that responses are communicated within 24 hours," the department said.

SOURCE is a South African government news service, published by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). (formerly BuaNews) was established to provide quick and easy access to articles and feature stories aimed at keeping the public informed about the implementation of government mandates.
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