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South Africa

Travel to South Africa

  • From 1 October 2020, all travellers from the African Continent and from countries outside the African continent with a low rate of COVID-19 infection and transmission, will resume subject to the traveller providing a valid certificate of a negative PCR test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel. Passengers are required to carry a COVID-19 negative PCR test certificate when travelling. Verification of the COVID-19 negative PCR test certificate taken no more than 72 hours before departure will be managed by the airport team as part of documentation checks at the time of flight departure. Check out the latest list of high risk countries on the Department of Home Affairs website.
  • Children who are 5 years and below are exempted from COVID-19 PCR test requirements.

High, medium and low risk countries are determined by their infection and death rates.

  • Passengers from high risk countries will only be allowed to enter South Africa for business, special skills, investment trips, or as diplomats. Travel for leisure is prohibited. Any person from a country listed as having a high COVID-19 infection and transmission rate who want to travel to South Africa for business may apply for approval in writing to the Minister of Home Affairs and present the purpose of their visit. Applications must be sent to Covid19BusinessTravel@dha.gov.za with the a copy of the applicant’s passport and/or temporary residence visa, proof of business activities to be conducted in South Africa, proof of travel itinerary and proof of address or accommodation in the republic.
  • The following categories of passengers do not require permission from the Minister of Home Affairs to travel to SA from high risk countries:
    • South African citizens;
    • South African Permanent Residents; and
    • Long term visa holders.
  • The high risk country list will be subject to review every two weeks, following which country status changes are possible.
  • Passengers from high risk countries who have stayed 10 days or more in a low risk country will be considered to have arrived from a low risk country.
  • All foreign passengers, irrespective of country of origin arriving in South Africa must have travel insurance.
  • On arrival, all travellers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate not older than 72 hours from the time of their departure. The COVID-19 PCR test must have been conducted by an accredited laboratory under the health authorities of the country of origin and the certificate must be to international standards with the date/time of test; date/time of result and test results clearly evidenced.
  • All travellers will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and will be required to answer any questions required by the Health Authorities on arrival.
  • All travellers must provide proof of accommodation and their address while in South Africa in case they are required to self-isolate.
  • Leisure travel is only allowed for travellers from medium and low risk countries.
  • All passengers must complete the traveller health questionnaire before arrival.
  • All passengers must install the COVID Alert South Africa app prior to travel.
  • South Africa’s air borders with all African countries are now open.
  • International travel is restricted to the following airports: OR Tambo International Airport, King Shaka International Airport and Cape Town International Airport.
  • Visa applications are subject to deliberation by the Department of Home Affairs. Effective immediately the Minister of Home Affairs has reinstated the visa exemption status of the citizens of the following countries:
    1. South Korea
    2. Spain
    3. Italy
    4. Germany
    5. Hong Kong
    6. Singapore
    7. USA
    8. UK
    9. France
    10. Portugal
    11. Iran

Please check your individual visa requirements before travelling to South Africa.


Travel from South Africa

  • Passengers must comply with COVID-19 requirements of the destination. Subject to requirements of the destination, passengers must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate from an accredited laboratory.
  • All passengers must complete the traveller health questionnaire when travelling from South Africa.

Check the list of recommended facilities for COVID-19 PCR testing in South Africa.