To: Editors & Health Journalists
Issued by: Department of Health
Date: Tuesday, 24 November 2020
WITHDRAWAL OF SCREENING BY PORT HEALTH SERVICES AT DOMESTIC DEPARTURE
Port Health Services has been conducting screening at domestic departures following the reopening of domestic travel at the international airports. Domestic travel resumed when the country entered alert level 3 of the current COVID-19 pandemic. To date the country has entered alert level 1 of the pandemic following the easing of further restrictions. Although the outbreak is still ongoing, the current reports on the outbreak indicate that most province are reporting lower number of cases when compared to the numbers reported during the peak of the outbreak.
With the move to alert level 1, the country has re-opened international travel in the 3 major airports. Port Health plays a major role in the monitoring of international travellers to ensure compliance with International Health Regulations, 2005 and to control the spread of communicable diseases. Currently, Port Health officials are required to implement entry and exit screening to reduce further spread of COVID-19 and to ensure compliance with relevant health measures at all Ports of Entry.
The re-opening of international travel has resulted in the need to redirect the port health capacity to international travel to ensure the risk of importation of cases is minimised. The Department has therefore taken a decision to withdraw the implementation of domestic screening by Port Health officials at all international Airports. It should however be noted that in line with the Disaster Management Regulations and applicable Directions, Airport Authorities are still expected to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols within their environment, including ensuring all persons entering the terminal buildings are screened, sanitised and are wearing masks.
For more information, please contact:
Mr Popo Maja
National Health Department Spokesperson