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South Africa has opened it's borders - What you need to know!

Thinking of travelling to South Africa? It's probably a good idea to think again!

With effect from 01 October 2020, South Africa has started to emerge from one of the world's strictest lockdowns. South Africa is opening its borders for limited international travel, and has adopted a risk-based system when evaluating which countries will be granted access with each country receiving a Low, Medium or High Risk categorization. How are Countries Categorised as Low, Medium or High? This is entirely based upon the transmission rate, infection rates and ultimately death rates with countries having higher rates than South Africa not being permitted for entry for leisure purposes with their status being evaluated every two weeks. Which Countries are allowed entry? Countries with a low or medium risk status will be allowed to enter for leisure purposes. Countries from high-risk countries will not be allowed to enter for leisure travel however business workers, investors, and high-skilled professionals (including diplomats) will be allowed entry.  If the passport of the traveller from a high-risk country indicates that they have spent the last 10 or more days in a low-risk country before departure, they will be considered to be arriving from a low-risk country. All countries from Africa fall into the low-risk category and thus will be allowed entry.  As of 01 Oct 2020, key markets such as the UK, USA and most of Europe remain in the High Risk category and as such leisure travel is not permitted. Here is the current list:

  1. Argentina

  2. Armenia

  3. Austria

  4. Bahrain

  5. Belgium

  6. Bolivia

  7. Bosnia and Herzegovina

  8. Brazil

  9. Chile

  10. Columbia

  11. Costa Rica

  12. Croatia

  13. Czech Republic

  14. Denmark

  15. Ecuador

  16. France

  17. Georgia

  18. Greece

  19. Guatemala

  20. Guyana

  21. Honduras

  22. Hungary

  23. Iceland

  24. India

  25. Iran

  26. Iraq

  27. Ireland

  28. Israel

  29. Jamaica

  30. Jordan

  31. Kuwait

  32. Lebanon

  33. Luxembourg

  34. Maldives

  35. Malta

  36. Mexico

  37. Moldova

  38. Montenegro

  39. Nepal

  40. Netherlands

  41. North Macedonia

  42. Oman

  43. Palestine

  44. Panama

  45. Paraguay

  46. Peru

  47. Portugal

  48. Puerto Rico

  49. Qatar

  50. Romania

  51. Russia

  52. Slovakia

  53. Suriname

  54. Switzerland

  55. Ukraine

  56. United Emirates

  57. United Kingdom

  58. USA

  59. Venezuela

Where can you fly in? Presently only Johannesburg O R Tambo, Cape Town International and Durban King Shaka are open for international flights.

What travel requirements are needed to enter South Africa? 

The following is needed from every passenger to be granted entry into South Africa: 

  • Negative Covid-19 test (no older than 72hours);

  • The test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and must contain the name and signature of the person who conducted the test;

  • If no negative test is produced, the traveller will be required to quarantine at their own cost;

  • Travel insurance;

  • Proof of accommodation within South Africa.

All travellers will undergo temperature screening on arrival in South Africa. Social Distancing will be encouraged and every traveller will be required to wear a mask. 

If you are planning on travelling for business, it's probably a good idea to try to confirm your eligibility in advance with the Department of International Relations and Co-Operation - DIRCO:

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