Land borders are now open, people caught with fake Covid certificates to get a 5-year ban.
Original Article Posted: Business Insider SA Feb 13, 2021, 04:41 PM
South Africa’s land borders have been closed since 11 January after large traveller volumes caused massive bottlenecks, particularly at the Beitbridge border with Zimbabwe and Lebombo post with Mozambique. These quickly developed into “super-spreader” events, with more than 100 confirmed Covid-19 cases recorded at Beitbridge border alone.
For the past month, travel into and out of South Africa through these border posts was limited to only a number of reasons – including the transportation of fuel, cargo and goods as well as emergency medical treatment.
A host of new interventions are being implemented to prevent the chaos witnessed over the festive period, including that trucks will be limited to a 700-metre queue. As soon as the queues become longer than that, trucks will be diverted to rest stops.
More staff have also been deployed and a ticket system adopted to limit the number of Covid-19 tests that can be done at the border posts.
In addition, the reopening plan includes a crackdown on fake Covid-19 test certificates.
Any person presenting themselves at any of the borders with fake Covid-19 certificates will be denied entry and barred from visiting South Africa for a period of at least five years, said Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi in a statement on Saturday.
Travel regulations require all persons entering South Africa from abroad – whether via land or air – to present a negative Covid-19 test result, and a number of fake tests results have been seized at the borders.
Motsoaledi will be at the Lebombo border post on Monday, Deputy Minister Njabulo Nzuza at Beitbridge and Director-General Tommy Makhode at Maseru Bridge and Ficksburg on Monday, when the land ports of entry reopen.