Government clarifies requirements for verifiable vaccination proof for international travellers

The South African Government has noted the recent incidents at some ports of entry involving international travellers who presented proof of vaccination which is not defined in the current regime of health regulations.

According to current regulations regarding incoming international travellers (Gazette No. 46319), all inbound travellers should present a valid certificate as proof of vaccination against COVID-19. It is critical that these proofs of vaccination must be verifiable.

However, since there is no globally agreed template of proof of vaccination, it has come to our attention that some countries use vaccination cards with a QR Code, while others use certificates with a QR Code as proof of vaccination.

Thus, in order to ensure a smooth and fair verification process without inconveniencing the travellers at the ports of entry, the government will, with effect from today (27 May 2022) recognise all verifiable vaccination proofs with QR Codes, either paper-based or electronic.

The details on the certificate/card should correspond with the information of the traveller as they appear on the passport. However, in cases where the vaccination certificate or card is not verifiable, the Department officials have got the right to contact the relevant embassy or High Commission in South Africa to confirm a type of proof of vaccination issued by the respective countries.

Travellers are reminded that onsite COVID-19 testing services are available at the ports of entry for individuals who are unable to present proof of vaccination, and those who test positive and are experiencing symptoms will be required to self-isolate.

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