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South Africa

Overview

Ministry of Health (MOH) Public Health Advisory

Please refer to the MOH COVID-19 website and SafeTravel website for updates on the latest precautionary measures implemented to further reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 to Singapore. These include travel advisories and further restrictions on travellers coming into Singapore.

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On 4 October 2020, the South African Minister of Home Affairs reinstated the visa exemption status of  Singapore citizens which was revoked at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020. Until further notice, Singapore passport holders may visit SA without a visa. They will not be quarantined unless they show symptoms on arrival.  But a negative PCR Covid test within 72 hours of travel is required, and travel insurance covering Covid-19 is advised.  Singaporeans travelling from other countries, such as those designated high-risk by SA, may have to satisfy additional requirements. All visitors must download the “ Covid Alert SA” app onto their smartphones, which may be done in advance free of charge from the Google Play Store. 

 

Please refer to the following websites for more information.  Regulations are subject to change at short notice.  Also, implementation on the ground may vary.

http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/statements-speeches/1376-home-affairs-minister-dr-aaron-motsoaledi-provides-an-update-on-the-partial-re-opening-of-borders-and-services-during-alert-level-1

http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/list-of-high-risk-covid-19-countries

http://www.dirco.gov.za/docs/2020/corona_virus0930.htm

 

Updates on the current Covid-19 situation in SA can be found on the official Twitter page of the Department of Health of South Africa at https://twitter.com/HealthZA and the official SA Covid-19 website www.sacoronavirus.co.za

 

There should be at least two empty pages in the passport for the South African immigration stamps and at least six months validity for the passport, on the expected date of departure from South Africa.

 

South Africa has strict entry regulations for minors (i.e. those under 18 years) to prevent child trafficking. Any minor travelling with one parent or without his/her parents into South Africa will need to bring along certain documentation for entry into South Africa. Please contact the High Commission of South Africa in Singapore for more details and refer to

 

http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/statements-speeches/621-updated-advisory-new-requirements-for-children-travelling-through-south-african-ports-of-entry

 

Note: if you are travelling to other neighbouring countries such as Namibia, kindly check with the respective embassies for their requirements on travelling with children. For example, Namibia requires parents travelling with children under 18 to have the original birth certificate or  a certified  true copy which lists down the names of both parents. If the child is travelling with one parent, the absent parent should also issue a letter of consent in the form of an affidavit.

If you have been to a region with Yellow Fever, you will be asked to produce your Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate for entry into South Africa.

If you plan to visit safaris, trek, or visit beaches or rivers to swim, please check weather/safety reports. Animals can be dangerous. Some parts of the country are not malaria-free. You may wish to seek professional travel health advice regarding vaccinations required or recommended for travel to South Africa.

When travelling in private cars, keep your bags and valuables in the boot and out of sight to avoid “smash and grab” robbery attempts when the car slows down or stops.

Travelling on roads and highways is generally safe. When self-driving, Singaporeans should stick to major roads, check routes in advance and not solely rely on GPS (which tends to select the shortest routes including unpaved and unlit tracks), avoid stopping on highways, be prepared for breakdowns, and pay heed to natural hazards such as animals, fog and flash floods, especially at night. When locking the car by remote control, physically double-check that doors are locked; robbers are known to use anti-jamming devices to foil the remote locking.

The unlicensed purchase of, or trading in, endangered wildlife products such as ivory and rhino horn is illegal and carries severe penalties.

The Singapore driving licence is recognised for use in South Africa, but rental car companies may also require an international driving permit before they rent you a car. It is a good idea to have both documents at hand. 

If you require roadside assistance, check with your car rental company directly as they usually provide them. Otherwise, try the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA-SA) which has a 24-hour hotline +27 861 000234 (or dial 0861 000 234 if your mobile phone has auto roaming). Do note that emergency services rendered by AA-SA are charged at a different rate for non-members. Special arrangements currently exist between AA Singapore and AA-SA so AA Singapore members should bring along their valid membership cards if you intend to drive in South Africa. You may wish to contact AA Singapore at www.aas.com.sg for more details of this reciprocity before you travel.

South Africa is a huge country and medical assistance may not be readily available.  If you need emergency assistance, dial 10177 and ask for an ambulance which may provide some interim medical attention.  You should concurrently contact your travel insurance firm.  The contact detail of International SOS in Johannesburg is + 27 11 541 1000 / 1300, and in Singapore +65 6 338 7800.  The cost of International SOS has to be borne by users or their insurance companies. Please note the 10177 ambulance service is operated by local authorities. Another privately-operated ambulance service which also provides medical evacuation is Netcare 911 which can be reached by calling 082 911.

Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [Updated on 14 October 2021]

Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws, customs, and COVID-19 restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.

Demonstrations do occur in major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities.

When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.

For those planning to travel, here are some tips:

Before travelling

  • Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.
  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.
  • Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.
  • eRegister with us on our website (www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.

While travelling

  • Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.
  • Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.
  • Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrests or terror attacks.
  • Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.
  • In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

Advisory: Email Scams

There have been reports of individuals receiving scam emails/messages purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas.  These emails/messages typically originate from an email address/social media known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance.  The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.

MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously.  Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance.  If you receive such emails/messages from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails/messages before responding to their request.  It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc.  Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails.  Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately.  Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

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