Updated African Travel Restrictions Due to COVID-19 – South Africa

Posted on August 24th, 2020 by Overland Africa

– Updated 13 November 2020 – 

*Cape Town is an approved and recognised user of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safety Stamp.*

The South African government announced on 16 September 2020 that the country’s borders will reopen for tourism on 1 October 2020. Travel to and from certain high-risk countries will be limited. Only one land border post and three international airports – OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town – will reopen to international travellers.


Open for International Travel – Yes


Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • Provide a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, obtained not more than 72 hours (3 days) from the time of departure for South Africa. The test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and the certificate must have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted the test.
  • Undergo screening for any COVID-19 symptoms and/or for contact with people who have been infected with the virus.
  • Download the COVID Alert South Africa mobile app – more information here.
  • All foreign national visitors must have travel insurance that covers the cost of any testing or quarantine.


Mandatory quarantine – Not required unless:

  • Arriving passengers fail to present a valid and negative COVID-19 PCR test. This will require quarantine at own cost.
  • Travellers display any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with an infected person. A mandatory COVID-19 test will be required at their own cost. If this test result is positive, travellers will be subjected to a 10-day quarantine at a designated site, at their own cost.


Countries allowed to travel to the destination

  • All

Exceptions will be made for individuals from high-risk countries who are business travellers with scarce and critical skills, diplomats, repatriated persons, investors, and people participating in professional sporting and cultural events.

If the passport of a traveller from a high-risk country indicates that they have spent 10 days or more in a low-risk country before departure, they will be considered to be arriving from a low-risk country and subject to the low-risk entry requirements.

The list of high risk countries will be reviewed by the South African government every two weeks.


Airlines flying into the destination

  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Air France
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Lufthansa


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