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Yellow fever Vaccination requirement lifted

Travelers from Zambia, Tanzania, Eritrea, Sao Tome and Principe will no longer be required to produce proof of the yellow fever certificate when coming to South Africa after they were included on the World Health Organization low risk yellow fever countries list. During the 136th session of the WHO Executive Board meeting, a review of countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and countries requiring yellow fever vaccination was conducted and based on the recommendations of the meeting, all travelers arriving into the country from these countries will NOT be required to produce proof of vaccination against yellow fever.

The provision is with immediate effect.

In line with the International Health Regulations (2005), South Africa requires a valid yellow fever certificate from all citizens and non-citizens over one year of age:

  • 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.

The International Health Regulations (2005) requires countries at risk of yellow fever introduction to employ the following measures:

  • Obtain 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 the following measures for all travelers from yellow fever risk countries who are unable to produce a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate at the point of entry:
  • Refuse entry, or
  • Place traveler under quarantine surveillance until their certificate becomes valid, or for a period of not more than six days

Travellers who are in possession of an exemption certificate due to medical reasons will be:

  • Allowed entry,
  • Required to report any fever or other symptoms to the health authorities, and
  • Be placed under quarantine surveillance.

NB:  Definition of a valid yellow fever vaccinationa certificate: Vaccine should be approved by the WHO and administered at least 10 days before departure for South Africa at a yellow fever approved vaccination center. The vaccine offers protection 10 days after administration.

Issued by the Ministry of Health

Date: 3 February 2015