South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the nation’s borders will be closed to all foreign nationals from “high-risk” countries: Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the US, the UK and China.

He said the travel ban would come in effect on 18 March.

“Any person who has visited high-risk countries in the past 20 days will be denied a visa,” the president said. “South African citizens returning from high-risk countries will be subjected to testing and self-isolation or quarantine on return to South Africa.”

He also said additional screenings would begin at airports, government travel would be limited, and gatherings of more than 100 people were now prohibited. Schools will also close from 18 March until after the Easter weekend.

South Africa has the second-highest number of cases on the continent – 61, according to AFP news agency.

Most infected individuals had recently travelled to Europe.

In east Africa regional powerhouse Kenya has closed it’s  national borders to travellers from any country with reported coronavirus cases.

Only Kenyan citizens and foreigners with valid residence permits are exempt, so long as they agree to be quarantined.

President Kenyatta said the directive will take effect within 48 hours, and will remain in place for 30 days. If needed, it can be extended by the Kenya’s National Emergency Response Committee.

In addition, from Monday all schools will be closed around the country. Universities will also close from Friday.

Kenya confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Friday, and the president said two more have been discovered since.