The National Coronavirus Command Council announced that South Africa would move from Level 5 to Level 4 lockdown from 01 May 2020. All domestic and international travel remains prohibited as well as interprovincial movement except in exceptional circumstances.  Read more in the Government Gazette, 29 April 2020 No.43258. Available at: https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/202004/43258rg11098gon480s.pdf 

People entering South Africa will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

 Quarantine is for people who are not sick (asymptomatic) but who may have been infected with COVID-19. Quarantine keeps these people away from others so that they do not unknowingly infect anyone.

Quarantine may be in a designated facility and/or as self- quarantine at home. Travelers may complete part of the quarantine period at home after clinical assessment and testing at a designated quarantine facility.

Guidelines for Quarantine and Isolation in relation to COVID-19 Exposure and Infection are available on the NICD website at: https://www.nicd.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Guidelines-for-Quarantine-and-Isolation-in-relation-to-COVID-19.pdf 

You will be required to:

  • Monitor your temperature and symptoms (chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, muscle/body pains) twice a day
  • Remain at home / in the quarantine facility
  • Do not go to work, school or any public areas
  • Avoid unnecessary social contact
  • Do not use public transport, do not travel
  • Do not have visitors
  • Stay in a separate room away from other people in your household/quarantine facility if possible
  • Or keep to one area, at least 2m away from other people
  • Wash hands regularly using soap & water (at least 20 seconds) or alcohol-based sanitizers (at least 60% alcohol)
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a disposable paper tissue, or cough and sneeze onto your flexed elbow. Dispose of the material after use and clean your hands immediately with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands regularly using soap & water (at least 20 seconds) or alcohol-based sanitizers (at least 60% alcohol)
  • Use a separate bathroom if possible or clean after every use
  • Avoid using kitchen at same time as others
  • Do not share utensils

You will be required to quarantine for 14 days. If you remain well, there is no requirement to test for COVID-19 during or at the end of the 14 day quarantine period.

If you develop a fever or symptoms while you are in quarantine, you will be clinically assessed and tested for COVID-19. If your COVID-19 test is negative, you will continue to quarantine for the full 14 days. If you test positive for COVID-19, then you will be managed appropriately, based on whether your illness is mild or more severe.

Read more at: https://www.nicd.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Guidelines-for-Quarantine-and-Isolation-in-relation-to-COVID-19.pdf 

If you get sick with fever, are coughing, experiencing a sore throat or have trouble breathing:

  • Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  • Tell your doctor about your recent travel history and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.

If you seek medical care for other reasons, such as dialysis, call ahead to your doctor and tell them about your recent travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community transmission of COVID-19.

The benefit of testing people who may have been exposed but are still asymptomatic is still unclear. While in some cases it is warranted, for example, those who were repatriated from Wuhan, the sheer number of people who have travelled in the last 14 days from high-risk countries could overwhelm the country’s laboratory services. It would also cause delays for those in genuine need of testing and deplete the limited global supply of testing kits. We would, therefore, like to clarify the role of testing. Only those who have returned to South Africa from countries with local transmission within the last 14 days AND who have developed some respiratory symptoms should be tested for COVID-19. People without symptoms do not need to be tested. All individuals returning from high and medium risk countries are requested to self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor for respiratory symptoms. Should symptoms develop, they should present for testing.

For additional questions on monitoring your health contact the COVID-19 Public Hotline: 0800 029 999.

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