Archive from November, 2020

Chakwera wants special permits for Malawians working in South Africa

President Lazarus Chakwera has called for the introduction of special permits for Malawians working in the informal sector in South Africa.
The Malawi leader made the request during a meeting with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and various members of his Cabinet in Pretoria.
SABC news site reported that the Malawi leader appealed for special permits for Malawian migrants employed in the informal sector in South Africa just as is the case for migrants from Zimbabwean and Lesotho.
“In the same vein, I would like to ask that Malawians be able to apply for new permits and renew expired ones while in South Africa as a reciprocal arrangement. More broadly I request your help in simplifying visa extension procedures,” said Chakwera.
The Malawi leader also asked the South African government to ease the issuance of medical visas to Malawian diplomatic passport holders.
Chakwera noted that this will do away with the current arrangement where diplomatic passport holders are required to obtain an ordinary visa before acquiring a medical visa.
During the meeting, Chakwera also expressed concern that Malawians are detained at Lindela Repatriation Centre for about 120 days before deportation.
He said: “Even if we say reduce it to 60 days it may be too many days as a first step towards the ultimate idea of seven days.”
Chakwera went to South Africa on Thursday and returned to Malawi on Friday.

Anxious wait for non-South African prisoners as Home Affairs take first step to ease parolee backlog

Following the move to Level 1 lockdown, prisoners who have been waiting since March to return to their home countries, have finally seen the first light of their long overdue release dates.
A mix of scepticism and fear colour the days after Home Affairs officials first visited South African prisons this month to commence the repatriation process of qualifying offenders.
On the other hand, South African prisoners are also affected by the backlog in the release of parolees as the process comes with many moving parts.
Over the course of three months, the Wits Justice project received numerous complaints from prisoners across the country. Many of these were parole-related and from non-South African prisoners who claim they have been held in prison past their release dates.
The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) charged the delay in repatriation of foreign nationals to lockdown restrictions limiting the executable duties of Home Affairs.
However, South Africa’s parole process had long been a complex one which included a dialogue between the victim and the perpetrator of a crime and at least one appearance before the parole board. Additionally, the national lockdown exacerbated the backlog in the already embattled process.
Months after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the initial 21-daylockdown, foreign nationals who had been awaiting their release from South African prisons finally had their first call with Home Affairs officials in charge of the repatriation process. While the past eight months caused anxiety, anger and frustration, prisoners had taken the hope of recent developments with a little more than a pinch of salt.
Amos, A Zimbabwean national who asked to remain anonymous for fear of jeopardising his reputation said: We are waiting for Home Affairs to come [back on Tuesday] to give us feedback on whether they will take us to Lindela since they have done the first stage.
According to Amos, Home Affairs officials visited Witbank Correctional Services on 15 October to initiate the processing of foreign nationals due to be released on parole. However, Wits Justice Project (WJP) made several attempts to contact Home Affairs and had yet to receive a response confirming the account of events as reported by a number of incarcerated foreign nationals.
Lucias, an inmate at Modderbee Correctional Centre said the parole board indicated that he would be released on 26 March. However, nearly seven months after his release date, he remained behind bars without any indication of when he could expect to be released.
Not going anywhere
“Correctional Services said we are not going anywhere until Level 1 [of the lockdown]. Now Level 1 [has] come and they’re saying Home Affairs must come to take us to Lindela, but Home Affairs is doing nothing,” said Lucias, who spoke to WJP on condition of anonymity. “Everyday we see South Africans being released, but for us, we have been waiting for too long,” said Lucias.
He said: They tell us parole is a privilege not a right. It’s very sad because we have served our sentences and we were given release dates, but only South Africans get released.
The complaints lodged by prisoners came amid a series of grievances pertaining to overcrowding and poor implementation of Covid-19 safety measures.
On 8 May, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the Department of Correctional Services would release 19 000 low-risk offenders on early parole. Among this, as a means to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa’s overcrowded prisons. Four months after the announcement, just over half of the qualifying parolees had been released.
A total of 16 514 inmates have been considered for placement thus far. Thus resulting in a total 12 044 inmates being paroled to date,” said DCS spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo. “Foreign nationals are deported back to their countries by Home Affairs after serving time. The process has been slow due to lockdown regulations. It is picking up now as borders are now open,” he added.
However, some Foreign nationals were still waiting for a visit from Home Affairs. Others who had had their first visit were growing despondent as the promise to repatriate them had been deferred without notice.”The Home Affairs [department] is the problem. They come and take people to court and instead of taking them to Lindela [for repatriation] they bring people back to prison,” said Lucias from Modderbee Prison.
Meanwhile, some prisoners expressed concern, saying overcrowding posed an even bigger risk to their health under the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “We are not safe,” said Thapelo*. “I am concerned about our health more than anything.”
Thapelo, a South African prisoner, asked to remain anonymous for fear of consequences.
He said: There are even prisoners who are South African that are still waiting to be released on parole. Melusi*, a South African prisoner at Kgosi Mampuru, had served eight years of his 12 year sentence for robbery. Due for parole, Melusi was yet to participate in the Victim-Offender-Dialogue (VOD) in order to be paroled. The process was largely dependent on the victim’s willingness to participate.”It must be noted though that not all the victims of crime are keen on participating in the VOD sessions,” said Nxumalo.
“In such cases, we ask them to sign and acknowledge that they were approached and opted not to participate. This will mean that the inmate’s parole consideration by the Parole Board will not include the VOD element.” While waiting to be released on parole, Melusi contracted Covid-19. Melusi said: The said news is that we were never shown our results. We asked the nurses and they told us that we will get them as soon as they have them because the only thing they have is a list of people who are positive.Adding to this, Melusi said the isolation of inmates who may have been in contact with those diagnosed with Covid-19, had been less than satisfactory.
“Some people might not show symptoms, but they still need to be isolated because they might have the virus and spread it on to others in their cell.”DCS Deputy Commissioner of Communications, Logan Naidoo said it’s an unsubstantiated allegation. “As stated above, the department’s Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Guidelines are implemented in line with the Department of Health Protocols. In the event of any test being conducted, including Covid-19 testing for inmates, counselling is provided, the procedure is explained to the relevant inmate on an individual basis and the inmate is also informed of the expected date of receipt of the results.”

The closure of a Durban refugee reception centre has left asylum seekers in limbo

The Durban Refugee Reception Centre has been closed since March. (Photo: Nokulunga Majola)
The Durban Refugee Reception Centre has been closed since lockdown was instituted in March. Since then, the documentation of thousands of refugees and asylum seekers has expired.
The Coalition of the Poor has called on the Minister of Home Affairs to take urgent steps at refugee reception centres nationwide and place additional resources at their disposal so that visas can be renewed without further delay.
This comes after two immigrants alleged that police assaulted them in Durban on 16 October.
Azuri Muhuli, 24, and Bushambela Yakobo, 26, both from the DRC, say police assaulted them when they could not produce valid asylum seeker visas.
Muhuli’s had expired in July and he had not been able to renew it; Yakobo’s had been stolen, and he had not been able to renew it, but he had an affidavit to say so.
They say they were beaten, detained, insulted and then released without charge. They have reported the matter to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).
According to the Coalition statement, “there are tens of thousands of asylum seekers whose visas have expired during the lockdown. The assurance by the department of home affairs that expired permits are still valid clearly carries no weight if this de facto extension is not even recognised by SAPS.”
The organisation is calling on the minister of police to issue an assurance that SAPS is instructed not to victimise immigrants.
The Department of Home Affairs’ (DHA) refugee reception centre in Durban has been closed since the March Covid-19 lockdown.
“While DHA services have re-opened for South African nationals, the department’s failure to open services to foreign nationals is a clear example of discrimination… placing an unbearable burden on refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom have suffered through months of lockdown-related unemployment with no recourse to social relief,” said the Coalition.
Echoing the organisation’s sentiments, Daniel Byamungu Dunia, executive director of the Africa Solidarity Network (ASN), said Covid-19 has created more challenges for refugees.
Dunia said many refugees’ permits and asylum seekers’ visas have expired, including his.
“My refugee status and my passport are expired. The problem is that if you are carrying an expired visa, Durban metro police and the SAPS are arresting people right and left.
“We are faced with too much police brutality. They keep innocent refugees and asylum seekers in custody. As we speak, we have a high number of refugees and asylum seekers in custody due to expired documents,” said Dunia.
He said although the minister of home affairs had declared that permit visas are extended until 31 January 2021, this was not being respected.
Dunia said money is being frozen in their accounts by the banks; people with expired documents cannot access social grants and they cannot travel.
Yasmin Rajah, director of refugee social services at the Diakonia Centre in Durban, said children’s admission to schools was being made difficult because of expired documents.
She said even when the refugee centre was open, newly arrived asylum seekers had battled to get appointments because of lack of capacity: there were long queues and problems with systems, and most asylum seekers were being rejected.
Department of home affairs spokesperson David Hlabane said, “The refugee reception centres will remain closed until 31 January 2021, or until the Republic of South Africa declares them open.
“All stakeholders, refugees and asylum seekers will be notified when the refugee reception centres are declared open.”

Home Affairs deporting refugees part of Cape Town protests

The Home Affairs Department has reminded citizens that there are foreign nationals who are in the country legally and are allowed to conduct business in terms of the applicable laws of the country
The Department of Home Affairs has initiated the deportation process of 20 foreign nationals, who were part of hundreds others, who had camped outside the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Cape Town, back in 2019.
“The deportation of these foreign nationals follows a successful law enforcement operation which was undertaken by the Department of Home Affairs’ Inspectorate officials, supported by SAPS, the City of Cape Town and the departments of Social Development and Health, at the temporary facility at Paint City in Bellville, Cape Town,” the department said in a statement on Friday, 6 November 2020.
The refugees had told government they either want to be allowed to go home or another country on the continent, as they had had enough of being on the receiving end of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
The demonstrations quickly turned ugly and they ended up spending months on Greenmarket Square and occupying the Central Methodist Church until April 2020. Government then opted to move the refugees to a number of shelters and camps, after the country went under lockdown and measures had to be put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The deportation of the 20 foreign nationals followed due process and was confirmed by the court on 02 and 03 November 2020 in terms of the immigration laws of the country. The affected foreign nationals have already been transferred to Lindela Repatriation Centre for deportation purposes,”
The Department of Home Affairs
Refugees not seeking integration into local communities
At least 12 other foreign nationals had been set to reappear in court on Friday, 6 November 2020, in a case in which they have rejected the option of integration into local communities and instead want the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to relocate them to a third country, preferably Canada.
The Home Affairs department and its asylum structures have embarked on a project to deal with all the backlogs in asylum processes, including appeals. The project is partly funded by the UNHCR as part of their commitment to assisting SA in clearing the backlogs in the asylum processes. The Minister of Home Affairs would like to extend his sincere gratitude to the UNHCR for its intervention. The funds would be used to employ additional lawyers on a temporary basis to assist in the asylum processes

Home Affairs lifts visa requirements for several nationalities The South African Department of Home Affairs announces the removal of visa requirements for several nationalities.

Several airlines denied boarding to some international passengers on flights bound for South African airports last week, even though South Africa’s borders had reopened.
Confusion over South Africa’s entry requirements forced airlines operating flights to South Africa to refuse passage to passengers of certain nationalities, during the first few days of South Africa’s borders reopening.
Visa-free entry to the Republic of South Africa, for citizens of foreign countries, was temporarily suspended at the start of the national lockdown in March.
In a document received by the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA), on 4 October, the Department of Home Affairs confirmed that visa-exemption status has been reinstated for citizens of several countries.
The letter states that the Minister of Home Affairs has reinstated visa-exemption status for citizens of the following countries, when entering South Africa:
• South Korea
• Spain
• Italy
• Germany
• Hong Kong
• Singapore
• UK
• France
• Portugal
• Iran
The document from the Department of Home Affairs states that nationals from the 11 countries listed are free to visit South Africa provided they comply with the applicable health and hygiene protocols in place.
This comes as a result of airlines refusing carriage to passengers from certain countries when boarding flights to South Africa last week.
The document grants permission to travellers who intend using South African airports as a transit point for connecting flights to other destinations, provided health and hygiene protocols are complied with.

Cybersecurity: Protect your privacy from hackers, spies, and the government

“I have nothing to hide” was once the standard response to surveillance programs utilizing cameras, border checks, and casual questioning by law enforcement.
Privacy used to be considered a concept generally respected in many countries — at least, in the West — with a few changes to rules and regulations here and there often made only in the name of the common good.
Things have changed, and not for the better.
China’s Great Firewall, the UK’s Snooper’s Charter, the US’ mass surveillance and bulk data collection — compliments of the National Security Agency (NSA) and Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing — Russia’s insidious election meddling, and countless censorship and communication blackout schemes across the Middle East are all contributing to a global surveillance state in which privacy is a luxury of the few and not a right of the many.
As surveillance becomes a common factor of our daily lives, privacy is in danger of no longer being considered an intrinsic right.
Everything from our web browsing to mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) products installed in our homes have the potential to erode our privacy and personal security, and you cannot depend on vendors or ever-changing surveillance rules to keep them intact.
Having “nothing to hide” doesn’t cut it anymore. We must all do whatever we can to safeguard our personal privacy. Taking the steps outlined below can not only give you some sanctuary from spreading surveillance tactics but also help keep you safe from cyberattackers.
Data management is at the heart of privacy
Data is a vague concept and can encompass such a wide range of information that it is worth briefly breaking down different collections before examining how each area is relevant to your privacy and security.
Personally Identifiable Information
A roundup of the best software and apps for Windows and Mac computers, as well as iOS and Android devices, to keep yourself safe from malware and viruses.
Known as PII, this can include your name, physical home address, email address, telephone numbers, date of birth, marital status, Social Security numbers (US)/National Insurance numbers (UK), and other information relating to your medical status, family members, employment, and education.
Why does it matter? All this data, whether lost in different data breaches or stolen piecemeal through phishing campaigns, can provide attackers with enough information to conduct identity theft, take out loans using your name, and potentially compromise online accounts that rely on security questions being answered correctly. In the wrong hands, this information can also prove to be a gold mine for advertisers lacking a moral backbone.
Browsing habits and website visits
Internet activity is monitored by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and can be hijacked. While there is little consumers can do about attacks at the ISP level, the web pages you visit can also be tracked by cookies, which are small bits of text that are downloaded and stored by your browser. Browser plugins may also track your activity across multiple websites.
Why does it matter? Cookies are used to personalize internet experiences and this can include tailored advertising. However, such tracking can go too far, as shown when the unique identifiers added to a cookie are then used across different services and on various marketing platforms. Such practices are often considered intrusive.
Today’s security threats have expanded in scope and seriousness. There can now be millions — or even billions — of dollars at risk when information security isn’t handled properly.
Message and email content
Our email accounts are often the pathway that can provide a link to all our other valuable accounts, as well as a record of our communication with friends, families, and colleagues.
Why does it matter? If an email account acts as a singular hub for other services, a single compromise can snowball into the hijack of many accounts and services.
Online purchases, financial information
When you conduct a transaction online, this information may include credentials for financial services such as PayPal, or credit card information including card numbers, expiry dates, and security codes.
Why does it matter? Cybercriminals who steal financial services credentials through phishing and fraudulent websites, who eavesdrop on your transactions through Man-in-The-Middle (MiTM) attacks, or who utilize card-skimming malware, can steal these details when they are not secured.
Once this information has been obtained, unauthorized transactions can be made, clone cards may be created, or this data may also be sold on to others in the Dark Web.
Medical records and DNA profiles
Another entrant to the mix, hospitals are now transitioning to electronic records and home DNA services store genetic information belonging to their users, submitted in the quest for health-related queries or tracing family histories.
Why does it matter? The loss of medical information, which is deeply personal, can be upsetting and result in disastrous consequences for everyone involved.
When it comes to DNA, however, the choice is ours whether to release this information — outside of law enforcement demands — and it is often the use of ancestry services that release this data in the first place. Privacy concerns relating to DNA searches have been cited for sales downturns with some popular home ancestry kits.

Here Are The Updated Travel Restrictions For Countries That Allow Tourists

COVID-19 pandemic last March, international flights got temporarily banned, leaving no choice to travelers all over the world but to stay where they are. Things aren’t exactly getting better, but the increase of cases and mortality rate has become relatively slower as compared to the first few months of quarantine. Given the comparatively finer situation, airlines have found their own compromises in order to make travelling in the sky much safer, while, of course, preventing the spread of the virus from one place to another.
Here are the countries that released their updated lists of travel restrictions for passenger flights on the third week of October.
Updated: October 21, 2020
Only the foreign nationals, Overseas Filipino Workers, permanent visa holders, and students enrolled abroad and participants accepted in exchange visitor programs, shall be allowed to exit the Philippines.
The requirements that are also important to be noted for outbound Filipinos effective October 21, 2020, are confirmed round-trip tickets; travel and health insurance to cover travel disruptions and hospitalization in case of COVID-19 infections during their allowable period of stay abroad; Bureau of Immigration Declaration acknowledging the risks involved in traveling, including risk of delay in their return trip; A NEGATIVE test result taken within 24 hours before departure, in accordance to the guidelines and protocols as may be issued by DOH or whenever required by the country of destination, a negative test result taken in accordance with the health and safety protocols of the destination country.
Updated: October 12, 2020
The Chinese government asks for the Chinese and foreign travelers who are to fly from the Philippines to China take Nucleic Acid Tests and Serum Antibody Test for COVID-19 within 3 days (72 hours) before boarding and only those who test negative will be allowed to board the plane.
For Chinese passengers, each person will get a green health code with an “HS” mark in advance through Wechat (mini program COVID-19 Prevention Health Code International Version). This health code has a validity period and will turn gray when expired. Passport or other travel document number (with some digits in the middle replaced by asterisks) shown on the top of the above-mentioned health code can be used to verify whether a passenger is presenting his or her own code. For foreign travelers, each person will apply and get a Certified Health Declaration Form from the Chinese Embassy or Consulates. The samples of the green health code with “HS” mark and the Health Declaration Form are attached below for your reference.
For passengers ultimately bound for China who transfer via other countries, the above-mentioned procedures for checking health codes or the Certified Health Declaration Forms should also be strictly followed. Otherwise, they may not be allowed to board the connecting flight.
Hong Kong
Updated: October 19, 2020
The Government also posted a revised Gazette Notice (GN) under Cap 599H, to add the France and Russia as listed specified places, with effect from October 26, 2020.
Bangladesh, Ethiopia, France, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, United Kingdom, and United States of America; are also the other countries listed as specified places.
Head on to the Government’s thematic webpage for more details. (
New Zealand
Updated: October 20, 2020
While passengers from New Zealand can enter Australia without having to undergo quarantine, passengers from Australia coming to New Zealand will still be strictly controlled.
The requirements and eligibility to enter New Zealand are not affected by the announcement from the Australian government.
Updated: October 21, 2020
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued interim guidance, strongly recommending the “wearing of face masks while on public conveyances and at stations, ports, and similar transportation hubs”, last October 19, 2020.
The CDC strongly recommended that appropriate masks be worn by all passengers in air transportation, and by all airline personnel while on an aircraft and within an airport. The CDC also recommended that carriers refuse boarding to anyone not wearing a mask and require all people onboard, whether passengers or airline employees, to wear masks for the duration of travel except when people are eating, drinking, or taking medication; if unconscious, incapacitated, unable to be awakened, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance; and when necessary to temporarily remove the mask to verify one’s identity such as during Transportation Security Administration screening or when asked to do so by the ticket or gate agent or any law enforcement official.
However, the use of masks may be exempted for children under the age of 2 (masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2); persons with written instructions from a licensed medical provider to not wear a mask; persons with a disability, mental health condition, or sensory sensitivity that prevents that person from wearing a mask; person who is hearing impaired, or communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, when the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication; persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by the relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations; and persons operating or essential to operating a conveyance for whom wearing a mask would interfere with that person’s ability to safely operate the conveyance.
Updated: October 20, 2020
All passengers, who have travel history to India, Indonesia or the Philippines within the last 14 days prior to entry into or transit/transfer through Singapore, will be required to take a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours before their departure. This is effective on October 19, 2020,
A valid NEGATIVE COVID-19 PCR test result is required to be presented to be allowed to board. Airlines operators are assigned to check these. The test result memo or certificate must be from recognized laboratories in India, Indonesia and the Philippines that are internationally accredited or recognized by the respective governments. It must also be in English, and state the following: the test result, the date that the test was taken, and the name, date of birth, nationality and passport number of the passenger as indicated in his/her passport.
Updated: October 19, 2020
The Minister of Law and Human Rights (MOLHR) has issued MOLHR Regulation No. 26 of 2020 on Visa and Stay Permit in the New Normal.
Foreign nationals holding a legal and valid Visa and/or Stay Permit will be allowed to enter the Indonesian Territory through designated Immigration Border Controls after undergoing the health protocol procedure.
Visa and/or Stay Permit consist of the official visa, diplomatic visa, visitor visa, temporary stay visa, official stay permit, diplomatic stay permit, temporary stay permit, and permanent stay permit.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card holder and Traditional Border Crossing pass/card holders will be allowed to enter Indonesia.
The Minister temporarily suspends to grant a Visitor Visa exemption and Visa on Arrival to foreign nationals (non-Indonesian nationals) until the Covid-19 pandemic is declared over by the ministry or agency mitigating the Covid-19 outbreak.
The temporary suspension of Visitor Visa Exemption is not applicable for crew members arriving by their transports, while the Diplomatic Visa and Official Visa exemption are arranged by the minister administering government affairs in foreign affairs.
Visitor Visa is a single-entry Visitor Visa for the following purposes of an emergency and essential work; a business meeting; purchase of goods; a probationary period for foreign workers; a medical, food, and humanitarian aid worker; and a crew member who joins the vessel in Indonesia
Temporary Stay Visa may be granted to a non-Indonesian national for work activities as a professional or expert; someone who joins to work on ships, on vessels, or installations operating in the Indonesian maritime zone, territorial sea, continental shelf, and Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone; whose job is quality control of goods or products; who conducts workplace inspections and audit; whose work with an after-sales service; who installs and repairs machine; someone with a non-permanent work in constructions; and someone with a probationary period for skilled works.
For non-work activities, activities concerning a foreign investment, a family reunion, and retirement travel are allowed.
Visitor Visa and Temporary Stay Visa requires a Visa Approval from the Director General of Immigration and a Sponsor. A Sponsor is an individual or a Corporation responsible for the residency and activities of a Foreign National while residing in the Indonesian Territory.
To obtain a Visa Approval from the Director-General of Immigration, a Sponsor must make an online application in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations by completing: a health certificate in English declaring a free from Covid-19 by a competent authority at their home country; a declaration letter in English consented to do a mandatory self-isolation or undertake a medical treatment at an accommodation or a designated health facility by the Indonesian government at the traveler’s own expense when a PCR check upon arrival by the health authority at ports of entry results in a positive with the Covid-19 or with symptoms in accordance with the health protocol and provisions of law and regulations; a consent letter to be monitored during the quarantine or self-isolation in accordance with the health protocol and provisions of law and regulations; and a health insurance or travel insurance covering medical expenses, and/or a declaration letter of medical treatment at own expenses, if contracted with the Covid-19 during their stay in Indonesia.
In addition, a Sponsor must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds of at least US$10,000 to support their living expenses during stay in Indonesia.
Foreign nationals holding an expired Visa Approval or expired Visa must make a new visa application in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations.
South Korea
Updated: October 22, 2020
In accordance with the epidemic prevention and control requirements, Air China will suspend the transport of passengers from the Philippines to China via a third country from 00:00 Beijing time on October 22, 2020.
If you have purchased a ticket from the Philippines to China via a third country before October 21, 2020 (inclusive), and the flight from the third country to China is carried by Air China, you are eligible for a free refund before the flight takes off.
Updated: October 19, 2020
Travelers can go from New Zealand to Australia, quarantine-free, if the travelers have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more and not been in a designated hotspot, and the travelers are travelling to Australia on a quarantine-free flight, effective October 16, 2020.
Travelers should not travel if you are feeling unwell or have signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
Travelers do not need to be a New Zealand citizen to travel to Australia quarantine-free if they meet the above criteria but will need a valid visa to enter Australia. New Zealand citizens do not need to apply for a visa before coming to Australia. If eligible, they will be granted a Special Category visa (subclass 444) (SCV) on arrival.
Quarantine-free travel from New Zealand will initially be to New South Wales and the Northern Territory only. Other states and territories may be added later.
Travel Exemptions
Travelling from New Zealand to Australia
Passengers that have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more prior to travel do not need to apply for an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions. On the other hand, passengers that have been in New Zealand for less than 14 days require a travel exemption to travel to Australia. This includes passengers who are transiting New Zealand to Australia.
Passengers arriving in New South Wales or the Northern Territory may travel to locations in those states. For other states and territories, travelers should check local requirements prior to travelling there as other states and territories may still require travelers from a green zone to quarantine on arrival.
Full guidance on eligibility and arrangements is available in the Australia’s Department of Home Affairs and Australia’s Department of Health.
Updated: October 21, 2020
Effective October 22, 2020, all passengers, regardless nationality with connecting flights via Air China (CA) coming from the Philippines will NOT be accepted for CA flights until further notice.
For Non-Japanese Nationals Including Filipinos With New Japan Visa/Sticker On Passport
For seafarers, pre-entry test negative certificate conducted within 72 hours before departure is required. For non-seafarers, a New Japan visa, as well as a re-entry PCR test negative certificate conducted within 72 hours before departure, are required.
For Non-Japanese Nationals Including Filipinos Holding Re-Entry Permit
For Non-Japanese holding a re-entry permit as well as Filipinos who departed Japan before August 31, 2020, a re-entry permit, a letter of confirmation of after submitting Required documentation for Re-entry to Japan (Attachment 7-2) and a pre-entry PCR test negative certificate conducted within 72 hours before departure, are needed.
For Non-Japanese holding re-entry permit and passengers who possess Receipt for request for re-entry and departed Japan on and after September 01, 2020; a re-entry permit, a receipt for request for re-entry (Attachment 8) (cc), and a pre-entry PCR test negative certificate conducted within 72 hours before departure (Attachment 7-2) or letter for guidance or re-entry (Attachment 9-2); are needed.
For Non-Japanese holding re-entry permit who do NOT have a Receipt for request for re-entry and departed Japan ON and AFTER September 01, 2020, they need a re-entry permit, a letter of confirmation after submitting the Required documentation for Re-entry into Japan, a pre-entry PCR test negative certificate conducted within 72 hours before departure, and documents certifying the need for humanitarian consideration or the presence of public interest (No need for foreign nationals who already have a Letter of Confirmation of Submitting the Required Documentation for Re-entry into Japan)