Southern Africa: Confusion At Airports Left International Travellers Stranded


A rigid application of South Africa's regulations regarding international travel saw several people deported to countries they have no connection with except for the passports they carry. Some of those affected are now considering legal steps.

*Mary, a 20-year-old Lund University (Sweden) student, arrived in Johannesburg on 18 March. Her plan was to meet up with her South African-based family and bunker down during the Covid-19 outbreak.

But eight hours after first touching down and trying to engage with immigration officers, she was forced on to a flight to Paris and deported.

"I knew I was going to be stopped because of my passport," she told Daily Maverick. "That is why I prepared a lot of papers proving that I had not been in France for over a year. I wasn't even born in France, I was born in Morocco."

Mary fell foul of South Africa's travel regulations which stipulated that people from high-risk countries including Iran, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, China, France and the US were not allowed entry to South Africa.

"The day before I flew my father called the French Embassy in South Africa and asked them about my situation. And they told him they shouldn't...

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