South Africa’s COVID-19 travel rules for kids between five and 12 has a ‘loophole’

South Africa’s COVID-19 travel rules for kids between five and 12 has a ‘loophole’

Travellers who wish to make their way into SA have two options: they can show that they have been vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test result not older than 72 hours. Children below the age of five are exempt from the vaccine or PCR requirements in SA.

The exemption causes concerns for parents of kids between the ages of five and 12. The country’s vaccination rollout is only open to people 12 years and older. For SA travellers with children in the five to 12 year age group, a negative PCR test is unavoidable.

In the case where a child produces a positive test result the family will, supposedly, be stuck at their holiday destination. Even if the child has long recovered, there is a possibility of a residue of a recent infection.

The ‘loophole’ that parents can use to get their kids into the country

The Department noted in a travel update on 31 January

Travellers who want to apply for this document need the following:

  • A copy of their passport.
  • The PCR test result confirming their initial infection.
  • A letter from a medical practitioner confirming that they have fully recovered, are not experiencing any new symptoms, and are fit to travel.
  • The request with supporting documentation must be sent to porthealth.travel@health.gov.za.

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