South Africa issues Ebola travel ban

Passengers screened at Kenyan airportKenya has not reported any cases of Ebola, but is a common transit point for African travellers

South Africa says non-citizens arriving from Ebola-affected areas of West Africa will not be allowed into the country.

The health ministry said borders would be closed to all non-citizen travellers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

South African nationals will be allowed to re-enter the country when returning from high-risk countries, but will undergo strict screening.

All non-essential outgoing travel to the affected countries has been banned.

Usual screening procedures are in place for those who travel between Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia, which have been defined as medium-risk countries.

A health official wears a mask to protect from Ebola at a Nigerian airportNigeria stepped up its airport screening procedures after a number of Ebola cases were confirmed

South Africa has experienced two Ebola scares in recent weeks, involving passengers arriving from Liberia and Guinea. But the country has managed to stay Ebola-free until now.

Johannesburg has one of the major transit airports, connecting southern Africa with the rest of the continent.

Ebola casualties

Up to 18 August


Total death toll

  • 576 Liberia

  • 396 Guinea

  • 374 Sierra Leone

  • 4 Nigeria