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The South African government declared a national state of emergency Sunday and issued travel bans on nationals from several countries hard hit by the virus. Nationals from the U.S., U.K., China, Italy, Germany, South Korea, Iran and Spain will be denied visas to enter South Africa, while any foreigners who have visited a high-risk country in the past 20 days will also be refused entry, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised address to the nation. Travelers from medium-risk countries, such as Portugal, Hong Kong and Singapore, will be required to undergo high-intensity screenings.
South African citizens returning from countries with high incidences of the virus will be subject to testing and self-isolation or quarantine on their arrival. Thirty-five of the country’s 53 land ports of entry are shut as of Monday, while two of its eight sea ports will be closed for passengers and crew changes.
South Africa also issued new regulations to stem the spread of coronavirus within the country, including banning public gatherings of more than 100 people and shutting schools.
“We have decided to take urgent and drastic measures to manage the disease, protect the people of our country and to reduce the impact of the virus on our society and on our economy,” Ramaphosa said. “There can be no half measures.”
The new restrictions are certain to have a major impact on the South African film and television industry. The region is one of the most popular international locations for studio productions. Columbia Pictures’ Escape Room 2, the sequel to the 2019 horror hit, shot in Cape Town, as did MGM’s video game franchise reboot Tomb Raider. Tomb Raider 2 was expected to begin production in the region later this year.
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