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

Posted on August 24th, 2020 by Overland Africa

– Updated 26 January 2021 – 

Cape Town is an Approved & Recognised User of the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safety Stamp

South Africa announced on 16 September 2020 that the country’s borders will reopen for tourism on 1 October 2020.

As from 11 January 2021, all land borders into and out of South Africa are closed until 15 February 2021. International air travel is restricted to and from OR Tambo International Airport, King Shaka International Airport and Cape Town International Airport. The aforementioned airports are members of the Airport Health Accreditation Programme by Airports Council International (ACI).

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Complete a Traveller Health Questionnaire (THQ) not more than 2 days before arrival. The same applies when leaving South Africa.
  • 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.

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

Airlines flying into the destination

Following the president’s announcement on 11 January 2021 that South Africa will institute adjusted Level 3 Lockdown regulations, the curfew requires every person to be at their place of residence from 21:00 to 05:00. If  a flight arrives within the curfew hours, passengers will be able to show proof of their boarding passes or tickets for their flights if stopped by law enforcement en route to the airport, hotel or home.

  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Air France
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Lufthansa
  • Edelweiss Air
  • Virgin Atlantic

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