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Everything You Need to Know About Travelling to South Africa During Covid-19

|Everything You Need to Know About Travelling to South Africa During Covid-19

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TRAVELLING TO SOUTH AFRICA DURING COVID-19

South Africa recently announced that after closing its borders at the end of March 2020, will open for international travel on the 1 October 2020.

However, not all countries will be allowed entry. A risk-based system has been put in place to evaluate countries and determine whether they will be allowed entry. There are three classifications – high-risk, medium-risk or low-risk.

Here is everything else you need to know about traveling to South Africa during COVID-19.

How are countries classified?

Countries are classified as high, medium, or low-risk based on an evaluation of their infection, transmission and death rates. Countries with rates higher than South Africa will be deemed high-risk and thus unable to travel to South Africa for leisure purposes. Countries falling into the medium and low-risk categories will have lower rates than South Africa and as such, be able to enter South Africa.

Which countries are allowed entry?

Countries from medium and low-risk areas will be allowed entry for leisure travel. Countries from high-risk countries will only be allowed to enter on the basis of business or work (business workers, investors, high-skilled professionals), and not for leisure travel.

However, if a person from a high-risk country indicates on their passport that they have spent the last 10 days or more in a low-risk country, they will be considered as a low-risk country arrival.

All African countries are considered low-risk and will be allowed entry. The South African government is yet to release the full list of all low and medium-risk countries outside of the African continent.

Which countries are not allowed entry?

As of the 1 October 2020, the following countries are considered high-risk and will not be allowed to enter South Africa on the basis of leisure travel:

  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

How often will changes in risk categories be considered? 

Every two weeks, South Africa will re-evaluate the list of countries and determine a possible change in risk category based on the infection, transmission and death rates over the previous week.

So you’re allowed into South Africa, but which airports are open? 

South Africa, as of the 1 October 2020, intends only to open the three major international airports, these being:

  • OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg)
  • King Shaka International Airport (Durban)
  • Cape Town International Airport

What are the entry requirements for entry to South Africa?

In order to gain entry into South Africa, every passenger will undergo temperature screening and will need the following:

  • A negative COVID-19 test (no older than 72 hours) that has been conducted by a certified medical practitioner and contains the practitioner’s name and signature.
  • Travel insurance
  • Proof of accommodation within South Africa.

If a traveller is unable to produce a negative COVID-19 test, they will be required to quarantine at their own expense.

Travellers will need to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

What happens if I contract COVID-19 in South Africa?

In order to gain entry into South Africa, every passenger will undergo temperature screening and will need the following:

  • A negative COVID-19 test (no older than 72 hours) that has been conducted by a certified medical practitioner and contains the practitioner’s name and signature.
  • Travel insurance
  • Proof of accommodation within South Africa.

If a traveller is unable to produce a negative COVID-19 test, the following procedure will be followed:

  • The traveller will be screened for signs and symptoms on arrival.
  • Upon failure to produce a certified PCR test result, the traveller will be directed to a testing facility at the port of entry.
  • A staff member from the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) will collect the samples and conduct the test immediately.
  • The cost shall be borne by the traveller and the NHLS shall be remunerated upon testing. Travellers must be prepared to pay out of pocket (approximately €7 to €8) and claim the fees from their health insurance service provider. Travellers should be prepared to pay out of pocket,
  • If the traveller tests negative, he/ she will be allowed to proceed through the port of entry provided they have been cleared of red flags at the screening phase.
  • If the traveller tests positive he/ she will be required to quarantine at a facility designated by that particular port of entry. They will not be permitted to travel across provinces. Contacts of a traveller testing positive at the point of entry, including those who were in proximity of the traveller within the conveyance, will also be tracked and traced.
  • Travellers who arrive without a certified PCR test and who refuse to test at the port of entry will not be permitted entry into the republic and will be required to quarantine at a designated facility.

Travellers will need to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

Don’t lose hope!

Of course, we are disappointed that we cannot welcome all travellers back to South Africa. However, we remain hopeful that as South Africa continues to re-evaluate countries and the pandemic begins to subside, the high-risk list will grow shorter.

And don’t forget, many other African countries are open to travellers from South Africa’s no-entry list so you can still have the African Adventure of your dreams! Let’s start planning your tailor-made tour. 

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2021-11-18T14:15:12+00:00
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