THE World Health Organisation (WHO) has included some African countries on its low-risk yellow fever list, which means their citizens no longer need clearance certificates when visiting SA.
However, one of SA’s key trade partners on the continent, Nigeria, remains on the yellow fever risk list.
Visitors from Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Sao Tome and Principe would no longer be expected to produce a yellow fever certificate when entering SA.
South African Chamber of Commerce chief operating officer Peggy Drodskie said the move would benefit South African firms that had moved into the rest of Africa.
“When companies move into another state and people that work for these companies begin to move between these two countries, the easier it is, the better it is, and the better the interaction.”
Department of Health spokesman Joe Maila said the department did not decide which countries had a low risk of yellow fever. “We are just following the recommendations, and other countries are likely to do the same,” he said.
A review of countries with risk of yellow fever transmission was conducted at the recent 136th session of the WHO executive board meeting, said the department. Based on recommendations from that meeting, these countries would no longer be required to show proof of vaccination against yellow fever.
In 2012, a diplomatic spat ensued between SA and Nigeria after SA refused 125 Nigerians entry because it believed that their yellow fever certificates were fake. Nigeria retaliated and refused South Africans entry into Nigeria. SA later apologised.
In accordance with international health regulations, SA requires a yellow fever certificate from all citizens and non-citizens over the age of one who have travelled from a yellow fever risk country or have been in transit for more than 12 hours at the airport of such a country.