COVID-19

COVID-19 Update
(27 July 2021)

 

Whilst we provide services throughout southern and East Africa, the information below focusses on South Africa as the country has had the highest number of infections on the continent, is the gateway for much of southern Africa, and many of the neighbouring countries, where infection rates are relatively low, take their cue from the measures implemented by South Africa.

East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda), besides a few isolated flare-ups, are managing their infections well and through a combination of inoculations and non-pharmaceutical interventions, have their numbers under control.

 

South Africa Moves to Alert Level 3 Restrictions

On 25 July, Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s President, addressed the nation and announced that the country was moving to Adjusted Alert Level 3, down from Alert Level 4. The latest infection figures suggest that country has largely passed the peak of the third wave of infections, although there are areas where this is not the case and these areas need to be monitored very closely. The additional restrictions put in place over the past 28 days, alongside continued adherence to basic health precautions, have been effective in reducing the rate of infection. The average number of daily infections over the past 7-days represents a 20 percent decrease on the previous week.

The Delta variant remains the dominant variant and is more transmissible than previous variants. Citizens are urged to continue to adhere to basic precautions; wear masks in public, maintain social distancing, sanitize hands regularly and ensure good ventilation at all times.

Relaxed restrictions now in place include:

  • Curfew times are (from 10:00 pm until 4:00 am) and all clients need to be in their rooms during these times.  Restaurants close at 9:00 pm, with alcohol being served until 8:00 pm
  • Alcohol sales at wine farms and liquor stores allowed Monday to Thursday during licenced hours
  • Museums, galleries and entertainment facilities are open
  • Beaches and parks are open

 

Vaccinations Rollout

The government has reaffirmed its position that the most effective weapon in the fight against COVID-19 is an effective and comprehensive vaccination programme. In the past few weeks, huge strides have been made on the vaccination campaign with more than 240 000 vaccines being administered every week day. A month ago, this figure was 100 000 per week day. The immediate target is to vaccinate 300 000 individuals per week day.

South Africa has now administered 6,3 million vaccines with over 10% of the population having received a dose.

In the coming weeks, the country will substantially increase the rate of vaccination by increasing the number of vaccination sites and improving the vaccination registration system. Weekend vaccination capacity will also be ramped up.

Currently, adults over the age of 35 are eligible for vaccination, and as of 01 September, this will open up to people between the ages of 18 and 34.

South Africa has secured a substantial increase in the supply of vaccines and within the next few months will receive an additional 31 million Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The target is to achieve herd immunity (inoculating 70% of the adult population) before the end of 2021.

 

Covid Testing

South Africa’s major cities, through laboratories or mobile facilities, are able to provide PCR test results in 24 hours or less.  Many mobile stations and some drive-through testing facilities have been set up in major cities.  At both Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport, test stations are available.  Johannesburg International Airport, as well as the InterContinental Hotel adjacent to the airport, have testing facilities that can provide a PCR test in 2 hours for clients under time pressure.  Trans Africa Safaris’ guides are on hand to assist clients with these test arrangements.

On safari and elsewhere in Africa, PCR testing facilities are continuously being expanded and streamlined to provide clients with the most seamless experience possible.

We appreciate that these are challenging times and the pandemic is causing anxiety.  We have comprehensive, up-to-date information on all Southern and East African destinations that we service; the latest COVID-19 requirements, health & safety protocols as well as what testing facilities are available in-country, and at the individual properties.

Country requirements are changing frequently and we urge you to contact us on res@transafricasafaris.com for the latest information.

 

Unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Provinces

Many would have seen footage on TV of the rioting, looting and general unrest in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Provinces two weeks ago. The situation in these provinces is once again stable with municipalities, local communities and businesses hard at work to repair broken infrastructure and re-establish operations.

Police have made multiple arrests of people allegedly behind this unacceptable behaviour, but it is believed to be politically motivated by elements in opposition to the President, Cyril Rampaphosa.  The President has committed to bring these criminals to book and also extend support to the many vulnerable and poor citizens affected by the consequences of the unrest and the pandemic. In this regard, the Social Relief of Distress Grant has been reinstated until March 2022 to support the unemployed and others who may qualify. In addition to the food relief being provided by government, R400 million is being contributed to the Humanitarian Crisis Relief Fund to assist with the immediate needs of affected communities.

 

“Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” (May God protect our people)

 


 

(02 February 2021)

Over the past few weeks, South Africa has seen a steady decline in new infections and meaningful decreases in hospitalizations. South Africa’s recovery rate, at around 90%, remains one of the highest in the world.  The second wave has peaked as the 7-day moving average numbers continue to decline.  Alert Level 3 has been relaxed – beaches are open, liquor sales are open and the curfew has been reduced.  Also, the country’s first consignment of the vaccine arrived on 01 February and will be administered without delay.

 

Below, is an update on present conditions in South Africa.

  • South Africa requires arriving passengers to present a PCR Covid-19 clearance certificate issued by a recognized facility which is not older than 72 hours
  • Currently, clients who have received the vaccine prior to their arrival in South Africa are still required to present negative PCR certificate
  • Those without a negative certificate will be required to remain in mandatory quarantine at their own cost for the period of ten days

 

Many countries (USA included) require proof of negative test certificate for returning residents.   Most airlines also require proof of the negative test certificate.  Please be sure to check with your international airlines prior to travel.

 

South Africa’s major cities, through laboratories or mobile facilities, are able to provide PCR test results in 24 hours or less.  Many mobile stations and some drive-through testing facilities have been set up in major cities.   At both Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport, mobile test stations are on hand. Trans Africa Safaris’ guides will assist departing clients with these test arrangements.

 

The cost of these PCR tests in the cities and larger towns is around R850 (US$57). Certain hotels and lodges offer an in-house testing option at an additional cost.

 

Whilst the current appetite for travel is subdued, as the vaccine roll-out around the world gains momentum, we believe that this will improve significantly.  Presently. we are suggesting single country visits.  When including multiple countries, testing requirements can be onerous, expensive and frustrating.

 

We know these are extremely trying times and the pandemic is causing immense anxiety.  We have comprehensive, up-to-date information on all Southern and East African destinations that we service; the latest COVID-19 requirements, health & safety protocols as well as what testing facilities are available in-country, and at the individual properties.

 

Requirements are changing frequently and we urge you to contact us on res@transafricasafaris.com for the latest information.