Travelling to an Ebola risk area? Get permission says SAA

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - AUGUST 29, 2014

If you are intending to travel between South Africa and the Ebola risk areas in West Africa, you are now required to first get permission from the Department of Health, SA Airways announced on Thursday.

Government has also advised travellers to avoid all non-essential travel to and from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone.

"All travellers between South Africa and the Ebola high-risk areas in West Africa must follow the new procedures introduced for the airlines aimed at ensuring compliance with a recent Cabinet decision," Tlali Tlali, SAA spokesman, said.

"The South African government has advised travellers to avoid all non-essential travel to and from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone. However, where travel is absolutely essential, permission must be obtained from the relevant authority."

"All requests from travellers must be addressed to the Director-General: Health, for the attention of Dr Frew Benson, and sent to the following address: [email protected] or [email protected]"

Travellers must provide when requesting permission to travel:

- Full personal details, including residential addresses of South African citizens or in the case of non-South Africans, the address of residence while in South Africa (ie, hotel, etc.);

- Next of kin details in the case of South African citizens;

- Full details of the reasons for travel to or from South Africa;

- The traveller must complete a Traveller Health Questionnaire and submit it with the request to travel.

A written response from the national department of health would be provided informing the applicant of the outcome of their request to travel.

However, the travel restriction does not apply to destinations like Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Senegal.