Permission to self-isolate is subject to very strict regulations, a person who wishes to be placed in self-quarantine or his or her employer must submit a written application at least 72 hours prior to the intended date of travel to the Director-General: Health to obtain approval.
An application must be supported by the following:
(a) Particulars of the place and address where self-quarantine will take place;
(b) a written declaration committing to all conditions for self-quarantine;
(c) a copy of identity document or passport;
(d) contact details where the applicant may be reached for the duration of the quarantine period; and
(e) details of his or her itinerary for the preceding 30 days.
Where approval for self-quarantine has not been granted or it has been determined that the person has failed to adhere to the self-quarantine conditions, such a person will be placed in a state-identified quarantine facility.
We emphasised that repatriates have to take note that consent for self-isolation is not guaranteed and that the conditions for self-isolation as set out in the regulations apply. Permission is still subject to the discretion of the officials concerned. If consent for self-isolation is refused, the person will have to remain in a state facility at the state’s expense.
Criteria for self-quarantine and self-isolation
In order to qualify for self-quarantine or self-isolation, the applicant must have the following:
- A separate well-ventilated bedroom with a bathroom and toilet, or a residence that is not shared with persons who are not subject to quarantine;
- meals served in the room in disposable utensils or utensils that are separate and are washed properly, if there are persons in the household who are not subject to quarantine;
- support from friends or family that can facilitate the drop-off of food and medicine at the entrance if they are not able to make use of online shopping facilities and contactless deliveries;
- a thermometer that will allow him or her to measure his or her temperature daily;
- access to the internet and a phone that allows the daily reporting of symptoms;
- access to a private physician that he or she can contact should he or she be in need of medical advice or care; and
- a contact number where he or she can be reached during the period of self-quarantine or self-isolation.
If the application of a person arriving in the country is approved by the Director-General: Health he or she will be allowed to self-quarantine or isolate on arrival and will be subjected to health reporting protocols and regular follow-ups by the Department of Health.
“The new regulations are a victory for the rights of repatriated South Africans, but also leave them with the obligation to act responsibly. AfriForum calls on everyone to adhere strictly to all requirements in order to ensure that no-one’s safety will be jeopardised due to the fact that people can now self-isolate.”