'You're travelling at your own risk', Pandor warns South Africans going abroad

Many South Africans were left stranded in foreign countries when the world imposed travel bans in March in an attempt to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor addressed the media in Pretoria on 14 December 2020. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor on Monday urged South Africans to be cautious and draw lessons from those who had to be repatriated during the earlier months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many were left stranded in foreign countries when the world imposed travel bans in March in an attempt to stop the spread of the pandemic.

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Pandor said that more than 30,000 people had to be repatriated back to South Africa from around the world since the start of the pandemic with 350 flights, excluding those who used land borders.

Many South Africans are traveling internationally this festive season and some to countries currently experiencing a second wave of infections.

Pandor cautioned those to make sure they know what the respective countries’ COVID-19 protocols are to avoid being stranded.

“Countries in the northern hemisphere are encountering a second wave of the pandemic. South Africans should be cautious in travelling to these countries as you might become distressed or even destitute abroad pending the levels of lockdown in the respective countries and with the likelihood of international flights that might be cancelled at short notice,” Pandor said in a statement.

She added: “Please note that you will be travelling at your own risk to these countries knowing the current circumstances and the uncertainty going forward. Please ensure that you are familiar with the immigration and health entry requirements of the country you will visit and South Africa’s entry health requirement during the pandemic.

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“If you have any uncertainty regarding the entry health requirements of the country you will be visiting, then please contact their embassy in SA for assistance. If you need any clarity regarding the health entry requirements upon your return to SA, then please consult the website of the Department of Health.”

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