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South Africa lifts ban on international travel as virus death toll tops 20,000

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South Africa

South Africa on Wednesday opened its borders to international travel, over 7 months after ports of entry were closed to non-essential travel prevent the spread of coronavirus.

President Cyril Rampahosa said in a speech to the nation that visitors would be required to follow relevant health protocols.

He said businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector would greatly benefit from the lifting of the ban on international flights.

"We are also opening up international travel to all countries subject to the necessary health protocols and the presentation of a negative Covid-19 certificate. Now by using rapid tests and strict monitoring, we intend to limit the spread of the infection through importation", said Ramaphosa. 

He also extended the National State of Disaster until December.

South Africa is one of the hardest-hit countries in Africa with over 740,000 infections.

The country recorded 60 more virus-related deaths on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 20,011.

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