The Department of Home Affairs has committed to respond to applications for entry clearances from business travellers within 24 hours of receipt. Many business travellers that applied for these special entry clearances have not received any responses to their applications. The lack of responses forced several applicants to get in touch with the officials who might be able to raise the matter with the relevant authorities.
The Minister of Home Affairs, in collaboration with the Minister of Health and the Minister of Tourism reviewed the list of countries, according to the risk they posed to South Africa. The list was revised and several countries were removed from the list.
The updated list released on 19 October included only 22 countries that are considered to be on the high-risk list. This is good news for many nationalities who can now travel to South Africa as normal visitors, being required to produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate on arrival.
Many of the nationalities that appear on the updated high-risk list include countries that have significant business interests in South Africa. This means that business travellers from these countries would still need to apply for special entry clearance.
The Department of Home Affairs has committed to improving the turnaround times for applicants from high-risk countries who apply for these permits.
The Department of Home Affairs reminded applicants that special clearance permits would be issued where necessary, but as the world continues to grapple with the pandemic, South Africa has a duty to protect its citizens.
The Department of Home Affairs is aware that many nationals from countries currently on the high-risk list owned properties in South Africa and might reside here for several months of the year during the European winter. The Department of Home Affairs said it would make allowances for these visitors.
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