South Africa lifts visa for Iranian travelers

October 6, 2020 - 22:51

TEHRAN - South Africa’s government has announced that it waived visa requirement for passport holders from Iran and ten other countries.

In a bid to boost tourism to the country, South Africa’s home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has announced visa-free travel for 11 countries. In a media briefing, the minister said the visa-free status of citizens of some countries and territories was temporarily suspended at the start of the lockdown period, Travel Daily Media announced on Tuesday.

“In line with the commitment of the government to take urgent steps to address the economic and tourism stagnation brought about by the outbreak of Covid-19, the visa-free status of citizens from a number of countries and territories has been reinstated,” Motsoaledi said.

The countries include South Korea, Spain, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, U.S., UK, France, Portugal, and Iran. However, the minister said that visa-free status does not alter the current Covid-19 regulations.

The minister also said he has instructed officials to communicate this decision to the aviation industry, embassies, and other stakeholders as a matter of urgency. “The port managers have been instructed to adhere to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol and guidelines regulating the movement of essential goods under Covid-19 regulations. “The guidelines regulating truck drivers traveling across the border will continue to apply as has been the case for the past seven months,” he said.

The minister said that immigration officers will be required to assess the movement and place of origin of the traveler and not the country of origin of the airline concerned.

“Transit travelers through South Africa by air will be allowed to connect to their destinations, subject to them complying with applicable health protocols but need not produce the 72 hours negative certificate.”

Motsoaledi said that any person from a country listed as having a high Covid-19 infection and transmission rate, who wish to undertake business travel into South Africa, may, in writing, apply to the Department of Home Affairs and demonstrate reasons for their request to enter the country for business purposes during the period of the national state of disaster.

AFM/MG

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