South Africa’s government has closed all of South Africa’s land borders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Key Points:

  • Twenty land border entry points will continue to be closed until Feb. 15, with some exceptions.
  • During the closure, entering and exiting South Africa through entry points will only be allowed, provided entry COVID protocols are met for:
    • South African nationals, permanent residents, or other valid visa holders returning to South Africa.
    • Foreign nationals departing South Africa.
    • Diplomats who must travel.
    • People who must have emergency medical care for life-threatening conditions.
    • People from neighboring countries who must travel to South Africa to attend educational classes.
    • Transporting cargo, goods and fuel.
  • Daily commuters from neighboring countries who attend school in South Africa.
  • South Africa is currently on Alert Level 3. This status remains fluid and could move to another alert level dependent on the rate of infections.
  • Certain foreign nationals in South Africa had their visas expire because of the COVID-19 lockdown. In order to provide relief to them, the government had automatically extended these visas until Jan. 31, provided there is no change to their status and now has re-extended them until March 31.

Background: South Africa’s government lifted COVID-19 entry restrictions for travelers from all countries in November, but officials said a recent COVID-19 surge and border congestion have made it necessary to restrict land border travel.

Analysis & Comments: The closing of land border points will restrict the movement of people into South Africa, though some exceptions are available. Employers may wish to consult with Deloitte to discuss their plans if they intend to have employees enter South Africa. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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