The government will recognize all valid Covid-19 vaccine certificates with travelers’ QR codes

The government will begin recognizing all QR-code verifiable evidence of Covid-19 vaccination – paper or electronic – of international travelers arriving in South Africa, starting Friday, May 27, 2022.

This follows confusion over current transitional health regulations announced in April after the Cabinet ended the national disaster related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Government spokesperson Phumla Williams said she has noticed recent incidents in some ports of entry involving international travelers who have submitted evidence of vaccination, which has not been defined in the current regulatory regime.

Williams said it is critical that these vaccination tests be verifiable.

However, because there is no globally agreed vaccination test pattern, the government noted that some countries used vaccination cards with a QR code, while others used certificates with a QR code as proof of vaccination.

“So, in order to ensure a smooth and fair verification process without inconvenience to travelers at ports of entry, the government, effective from today [27 May 2022] recognize all evidence of vaccination verifiable with QR codes, paper or electronic, “Williams said in a statement.

He said the details on the certificate or card should match the traveler’s information as it appears on the passport.

“However, in cases where the vaccination certificate or card is not verifiable, department officials have the right to contact the relevant embassy or High Commissioner in South Africa to confirm proof of the type of vaccination issued by the respective villages”.

Transitional provisions

According to current regulations, all inbound international travelers must present a valid certificate as proof of vaccination against Covid-19.

Transitional measures have been adopted as the government receives public comments on new health regulations relating to the surveillance and control of notifiable medical conditions. South Africans have until July 5, 2022 to submit comments.

Travelers were reminded that on-site Covid-19 testing services were available at ports of entry for people who were unable to present proof of vaccination.

Travelers who test positive and exhibit symptoms of Covid should self-isolate, Williams said.

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