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No easy ride for Malawian-SA returnees

The government has stopped assisting Malawian returnees from South Africa with clearance and escort services effective 1 June, 2021.

Health Minister and Co-chairperson of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, has confirmed the development in Monday’s Covid-19 update.

The government has been supporting Malawian returnees from the Rainbow Nation who are frustrated by loss of livelihoods due to impacts of the pandemic amid a prolonged lockdown there.

For some time now, the Malawi government has been obtaining block clearances for the returnees’ easy passage back home, through its mission offices in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, .

The arrangement required provision of border-to-border escorts as well as special security and immigration assessments and clearances at Mwanza border before they could be admitted into the country.

Following recommendations to ease restrictions and  allow free travel and trade, the South African government has facilitated free travel and trade without support from the mission offices.

According to Chiponda, Malawians who intend to travel back home from South Africa should ensure that they comply with visa and other travel requirements for easy transit to Malawi.

She further advises the travelers to ensure that they have negative PCR-based Covid-19 test certificates obtained within 72 hours before the day of arrival,  as per requirement, for all travelers entering Malawi.

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