Travel in the Era of Covid

tarbe

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Just another tidbit or two of relevant Covid travel info....straight from John Sharp's recent trip from Zim to Houston and back.

I hope something from his summary below can help a fellow traveler avoid a pitfall. Be sure to note the item about "PCR" being on your Covid certificate.
=========================================================================================================

As many of you already know I recently flew to the States. I wanted to report back on the trip, so that you might know what to expect when you travel. My journey was mostly a breeze.

The USA recently changed their laws restricting all NON-US CITIZENS from entering the States within two weeks of being in South Africa (and many EU countries). As far as the South African restriction is concerned this does NOT apply to US CITIZENS.

I was forced to delay my trip as I had recently been in SA and had to fly a round about route to get there. I flew from Harare on Ethiopian to Addis Ababa, changed planes and then landed in Dublin, Ireland - some people disembarked and the rest of us remained on the aircraft. No-one boarded as Ireland is another country with the same US restrictions as South Africa.

Next stop was Chicago for customs. I had my valid Covid certificate as well as other paperwork I was given in Harare to complete and hand in upon arrival in the USA. Passport control required nothing from me, not even a photograph or finger prints and told me I was free to proceed to baggage claim. It was like a normal US visit with no Covid about. I then caught my connection to Houston.

Quite a number of those I met had already had the vaccinations and seemed upset that Africa still required negative Covid free certificates for travel - I guess they were not told the truth.

Nearing my return date I found it difficult to arrange a Covid test as most places could not guarantee results for between 12 and 72 hours. Barry and Sarah Burdett of Burdett and Son in College Station did all of this research on my behalf, so a very big 'Thank You' to them both! Given that South Africa requires 72 hours validity from the time of testing, I had to opt for a 1-hour test for $200.

When I arrived at Houston airport for my homeward flight on Qatar to Bulawayo via SA, I was refused permission to check in as my negative Covid certificate did not state that it was a PCR test! Miraculously, the clinic where I had the test the day before was open on Good Friday and after reaching them on the phone, they emailed the correct form - yes, I had been given the wrong certificate! ALL TRAVELLERS MUST DILIGENTLY CHECK THAT PCR IS STATED ON YOUR CERTIFICATE AND THAT YOUR NAME AND PASSPORT NUMBERS ARE STATED CORRECTLY. In my case it was only the issue of PCR not being stated on my certificate.

I sailed through the formalities at ORT in Johannesburg - remember that you will need an arrival and departure Covid form to hand in when you arrive and depart.
If you need a good travel agent please use Jennifer Ginn of Travel Express in Montana - she books all of my clients and will send you all of the required forms etc. jennifer@travelexpressagency.com or +1 406 381 6582. If you're going to overnight she will automatically book you into Africa Sky, the very best lodge only 10 minutes from the airport. They will collect you at the airport, arrange your SA firearm permits if necessary, and will return you to the airport the following morning for your onward flight.

I decided to overnight at Africa Sky in JNB as I needed to get a new Covid certificate for entry into Zimbabwe - they currently require 48 hours validity. Mike at TraVac (Pty) Ltd is without a doubt your best option for quick tests - you will have your results within 2 hours, emailed to your phone for the required printing (SA and Zim will only accept printed copies). He will travel to wherever you are to do the test - mention that you are hunting with me and he could make your life a lot easier. He requires that you contact him via WhatsApp or email a few days before you arrive as he needs to get a photo of your passport and your email address - he will also need to know where you will be located in JNB.
Mike: his phone and WhatsApp number is +27 73 756 9509
The company email is: admin@travac.co.za
Web site: https://www.travac.co.za
The cost is ZAR750.00 - about $50
He will send a link to your phone for easy payment - click on the link and pay with your credit card.

For your return you will need to get your Covid certificate in Bulawayo. You will have to spend two nights at my home on your return - come in on the afternoon of your last hunting day, go to the local hospital at 07:30 the following morning, collect your results that afternoon at 4pm and then fly out the next day. This certificate will be required before you can board your flight to JNB and home - it will still be valid when you arrive in the USA.

Well there you have it - all the info you require for an easy and restful trip to Africa for your next safari.

Blessings,
John & Dave
 

BnC 04

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Great pointers and info, thanks to both of yall for sharing.
 

IdaRam

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@John Sharp and @tarbe ,
Thank you both for providing some excellent information! It is much appreciated.
 

CAustin

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Thank you for sharing
 

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