International Travel is Back – Now What?

South Africa moved to lockdown level 1 on the 20th of September 2020 and our borders opened on the 1st of October 2020. This is not without restrictions though.

The South African government released a list of of 60 countries considered high risk. Leisure travellers from these countries will not be allowed into South Africa. Exceptions apply to business travellers, those with high-skills visas and investors. 

There are ways to by-pass these restrictions. Passengers who have spent the previous ten days in a low-risk country will be considered coming from a low-risk country and can enter South Africa. This will be based on their passport stamps.

South African citizens are free to travel to any international country that will accept them and can’t be denied entry to their home country upon their return (SA Constitution). They will however be asked to produce a negative COVID test no older than 72 hours in order to enter the country. You also have to provide proof of your address at the time of arrival.

At this stage it looks like South Africans returning from high-risk countries will only be asked to quarantine, which could take place at their residence. South Africans will also have to quarantine if they exhibit any COVID symptoms during screening or have come into contact with someone who tested positive. Quarantine can also take place at a government-chosen facility.

All passengers entering the country will be screened and can be forced to take a COVID test or to quarantine. 

These Countries are Considered High Risk & Travel Restrictions Apply:

  1. Albania
  2. Argentina
  3. Armenia
  4. Austria
  5. Bahrain
  6. Belgium
  7. Bolivia
  8. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  9. Brazil
  10. Chile
  11. Columbia
  12. Costa Rica
  13. Croatia
  14. Czech Republic
  15. Denmark
  16. Ecuador
  17. France
  18. Georgia
  19. Greece
  20. Guatemala
  21. Guyana
  22. Honduras
  23. Hungary
  24. Iceland
  25. India
  26. Iran
  27. Iraq
  28. Ireland
  29. Israel
  30. Jamaica
  31. Jordan
  32. Kuwait
  33. Lebanon
  34. Luxembourg
  35. Maldives
  36. Malta
  37. Mexico
  38. Moldova
  39. Montenegro
  40. Nepal
  41. Netherlands
  42. North Macedonia
  43. Oman
  44. Palestine
  45. Panama
  46. Paraguay
  47. Peru
  48. Portugal
  49. Puerto Rico
  50. Qatar (You can connect on the airport)
  51. Romania
  52. Russia
  53. Slovakia
  54. Suriname
  55. Switzerland
  56. Ukraine
  57. United Emirates
  58. United Kingdom
  59. USA
  60. Venezuela

This list will be updated by government every two weeks. These were last updated on 30 September 2020.

Which Countries Can South Africans Travel To:

Right now there aren’t many countries that will accept South African leisure tourists without the need for quarantine. Turkey seems to be the one bright light, with a few African countries also slowly easing travel restrictions. Most still require 10-14 days quarantine upon arrival.

If you need help with finding the latest regulations, the following resources can prove useful.

You can make use of this website to determine whether your passenger will be allowed entry into the country with the documents in their possession. You can also do a COVID entry check on this appropriately titled website. As always, it remains your responsibility to confirm these rules and regulations with the appropriate authorities.

Unfortunately we can’t guarantee the accuracy of this or that the information is up to date. It is also advisable to check the latest regulations with the airline and to always advise clients that due to the nature of the current global health crises everything is subject to change.

Safety Measures on Board

  • Travellers will require a negative COVID test result no older than 72 hours in order to board most airlines.
  • Passengers have to have a face mask, gloves, hand sanitizer and a face shield on in order to board. Some airlines are less strict, but all require you to wear a mask except when eating or drinking.
  • Airport and airline staff will all be wearing personal protection gear.
  • Most airports still screen passengers for fevers or any COVID symptoms.
  • Aircraft are sanitized on a frequent basis.

Don’t forget your mask, hand sanitizer, Government Health Declaration Form and COVID test. Happy and safe travels everyone!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *