Government Recognizes All Valid Covid-19 Vaccine Certificates With QR Codes From Travelers



Starting Friday, May 27, 2022, the government will begin to accept all verifiable evidence of Covid-19 vaccination with QR codes – paper or electronic – from international travelers arriving in South Africa.

This follows confusion over the current transitional sanitary rules announced in April after the Cabinet discontinued national state of distress related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Government spokesman Phumla Williams said they noted recent incidents at some ports of entry involving international travelers who provided evidence of vaccination that was not defined under the current rule regime.

Williams said it’s important that this vaccination evidence is verifiable.

However, due to the lack of a globally agreed vaccination confirmation template, the government noticed that some countries were using QR code vaccination cards while others were using QR code certificates as proof of vaccination.

“Thus, in order to ensure a smooth and fair screening process without causing inconvenience to travelers at ports of entry, the government will, from today [27 May 2022] recognize all verifiable evidence of vaccination using QR codes, both paper and electronic,” Williams said in a statement.

She said that the data on the certificate or card must match the traveler’s information on the passport.

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

Transitional provisions

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

The transitional measures were taken at a time when the government is receiving public comments on new health regulations regarding the surveillance and control of notifiable medical conditions. South Africans must apply by July 5, 2022.

Travelers are reminded that on-site Covid-19 testing services are available at ports of entry for individuals who cannot show proof of vaccination.

Travelers with a positive test result and symptoms of Covid will have to self-isolate, Williams said.

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