Update on Covid-19 and travel plans to Mozambique

Update on Covid-19 and travel to Mozambique

With increasing concerns surrounding the Corona virus and its impact on South Africans, many people are considering rescheduling or postponing dates of their upcoming trips to Mozambique.

President Nyusi of Mozambique initially addressed the nation on 30th March 2020, shortly thereafter and then on 28th May 2020, announcing that as of 31/03/2020 as eight cases have tested positive, new COVID-19 prevention measures were due to take effect as from Wednesday, April 01st until the end of April and then extended again until the end of June, this has now been extended again until the end of July 2020. The President announced that Mozambique would not be going into a Lockdown but rather a State of Emergency was declared where certain restrictions and limitations would be imposed in the Country. The mandatory home quarantine was previously applied only to citizens, Mozambicans or foreigners, arriving from certain designated countries now applies to all citizens returning from foreign countries, other than commercial traffic, certain borders would remain closed during this period and there would be restrictions on public gatherings, public transport etc.  Additionally the President announced that the reopening of several sectors including education, business, culture and tourism would occur and the priority now was “To boost tourism and stimulate business, the country will be open to investors, specialists and visitors, and flights from selected countries will be allowed”.

The South African government has stated that domestic travel – particularly by air, rail, and public transport, such as certain taxis and busses are stopped and now with the announcement that the Lockdown has been downgraded to a Level 3 from level 4&5, further travel will remain on hold for now. Thereafter since travel to Mozambique from South Africa is done via road, with no air travel required, this is a safer option for those wishing to travel even after the curfew period of Level 2-1. For many South Africans travelling from busy city centres, an escape to a remote beach in Mozambique might seem like the ideal option after the curfew quarantine – particularly with the extension of school holidays/closures and many companies offering their employees the option to work from home.

In essence the SA travel curfew will last up until Level 2-1 is reached and the Mozambican restrictions up until the 30th July 2020 as well for now.  South Africa has 72 ports of entry in the country which are land, sea and air ports. Of the 53 land ports, 35 will be shut down with effect from Monday 16 March and will be closed until Level 2-1 is reached for non-commercial traffic. With the SA curfew now in place border entry into Mozambique will not be accessible for now, other than for commercial traffic. Land-based border posts that will be closed and effect those travelling from South Africa to Mozambique are Pauli, Giriyondo, and the Kosibay border posts, Komatipoort remains open for commercial traffic. (For a full list of land-based border posts that will be closed from 16th March please refer to this link).

http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/south-african-ports-of-entry

https://www.businessinsider.co.za/these-are-the-border-posts-south-africa-is-closing-against-   

the-coronavirus-2020-3

There are many options available to South African Travellers after this difficult period with the first and foremost priority to obviously ensure that they and their families are protected and safe and to not take any risks, please refer to attached WHO & CDC links:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

https://bit.ly/2wgdK3J

Operators, Agents and Travel Facilitators have greatly assisted this difficult situation by offering and securing long term alternative options to travelers who have pre-booked accommodation in Mozambique. These options include rescheduling booking dates over a future 15-month period, maintaining rescheduled bookings at current prices without the mandatory annual price increases and offering in some cases, additional accommodation such as an extra night at no charge for deferred reservations only. Travelers are to please contact African Safaris urgently to avail themselves of these changes:
011 8491592  leeann@coraldev.com.

EXTRACT FROM SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM BOARD

Refund and cancellation policies for online accommodation booking agents

All accommodation establishments who have distribution agreements with any one or more the various online booking platforms/agents need to note that they are subject to the individual booking agent’s refund and cancellation policies as outlined in the terms of their initial contractual agreements. South African Tourism is not in a position to negotiate with any booking platform/agent on behalf of any establishment or group regarding their refund and cancellation policies as contained in their mutual contractual agreements.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING CANCELLATIONS:

  1. If all borders have been closed and clients are not able to reach Mozambique or alternate restrictions are imposed on travel after the Curfew period, then African Safaris will hold deposits for a future booking. Please note that seasonal rates apply and that future bookings are dependent on availability. Clients will have to travel within 15 months of cancellation, and must please book to stay at the same accommodation.

  2. African Safaris will offer Clients that wish to reschedule their bookings the opportunity to view the reservation schedule for the next 15 months of the Unit that they originally booked. In this way Clients may have greater choice to reschedule alternative dates.

  3. The good news is that rescheduled reservations will be held at the current list price and not be subject to the annual rate increases.

  4. For those clients who decide, on their own initiative, that they don’t feel comfortable with travelling (after the curfew), normal cancellation fees* would apply, please refer to the Terms & Conditions for more information.

  5. African Safaris always encourages clients to take out travel insurance when booking. Travel insurance needs to be paid for within 48 hours of paying for your accommodation. For any information regarding travel insurance, click here.

*African Safaris cancellation policy states that no refunds will be made towards any cancellations made within 44 days of the arrival date.

However, due to the current circumstances, African Safaris will be relaxing its cancellation policy for Clients with reservations up until the Curfew period is relaxed, or any other period that is restricted by either the SA or Mozambican Governments. African Safaris and their suppliers & Agents are assisting clients who were scheduled to travel to Mozambique between the Curfew period, to postpone & reschedule their travel dates – please note that these Clients will have the opportunity to travel within 15 months of cancellation, and must please book to stay at the same accommodation. Seasonal rates apply and future bookings are dependent on availability.

*African Safaris cancellation policy is as follows: ADS (Terms & Conditions)