Yellow fever low risk in Southern Africa

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Pretoria - All travellers arriving into South Africa from Zambia, Tanzania, Eritrea, Somalia, Sao Tome and Principe will no longer be required to produce proof of the yellow fever certificate, says the Health Ministry.

This following the countries recently being included on the World Health Organization (WHO) Low - risk yellow fever countries list.

The Ministry on Tuesday said a review of countries with risk of Yellow Fever transmission and countries requiring Yellow Fever vaccination was conducted during the 136th session of the WHO Executive Board meeting.

“… based on the recommendations of the meeting, all travellers arriving into the country from these countries will not be required to produce proof of vaccination against Yellow Fever. This provision is with immediate effect,” said the Ministry.

The Ministry said the International Health Regulations, 2005, states South Africa requires a valid Yellow Fever certificate from all citizens and non-citizens over one year of age, who are travelling from a Yellow Fever risk country, or having been in transit exceeding 12 hours, through the airport of a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission.

International Health Regulations (2005)

The regulations require countries at risk of Yellow Fever introduction to employ measures such as obtaining vaccination certificates from individuals travelling from areas determined by the WHO to be at risk of Yellow Fever transmission.

“As a result, South Africa implements measures for all travellers from Yellow Fever risk countries, who are unable to produce a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate at the point of entry,” the Ministry said.

Travellers can be denied entry into the country; they can be placed under quarantine surveillance until their certificate becomes valid, or for a period of not more than six days, if they do not have vaccination certificates and are from high risk yellow fever countries.

“Travellers who are in possession of an exemption certificate due to medical reasons will be will be allowed entry, required to report any fever or other symptoms to the health authorities, and be placed under quarantine surveillance,” said the Ministry.

A valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate requires a vaccine approved by the WHO and administered at least 10 days before departure to South Africa at a Yellow Fever approved vaccination centre. The vaccine offers protection 10 days after administration. -

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