Entry requirements and restrictions for international travel in/out of South Africa




Entry requirements and restrictions for international travel in/out of South Africa




Thursday, October 1, 2020

The latest speech made by Minister Naledi Pandor on 30 September 2020 can be found HERE

International travel for business and leisure purposes will resume as of 1 October 2020 with restrictions in place. Travel is restricted from countries with high infection rates. The list of high risk countries is subject to change as data is reviewed on a fortnightly basis. 

Travel for leisure purposes from high risk countries is not permitted. Only high skill visa holders, investors in the economy and Diplomats will be allowed entry into South Africa from high risk countries with the necessary approvals in place. 

The countries considered as high risk are listed HERE

Medium risk travellers are from countries with a relatively equal number of infections and death toll to South Africa and low risk travellers originate from countries with lesser number of infections of COVID-19 and death toll than South Africa.  Travellers from medium and low risk countries will only be allowed into the country subject to the prevailing visa requirements.   

Travellers from the African continent will be permitted entry for business and leisure purposes, however will need to comply with the necessary entry requirements. South Africans are permitted to travel freely as mentioned during the ministerial brief on 30 September, however will be required to check the entry requirements of the country they wish to travel to. There are still many entry restrictions and border closures that remain in effect globally. Any returning South African citizens will be subject to entry regulations and protocols and may be required to enter quarantine. 

Travellers will only be permitted to travel to/from OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka Airport. The 18 land borders which were partially operational, will be fully operational and the 35 land borders currently closed will remain closed. 

The following entry requirements come into effect as of 1 October:

  • Travellers entering South Africa will need to produce a negative PCR test, to be presented on arrival and not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin. 
  • The PCR test produced must be from a certified medical practitioner and the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted the test must be visible.
  •  All travellers are to complete a Traveller Health Questionnaire prior to arrival or upon arrival at all ports of entry. 
  • Travellers will be screened at all ports of entry and will also be screened for contact with people who have tested positive with COVID-19. 
  • Travellers will need to provide addresses of where they will reside in South Africa in the event that they may need to self-isolate. 
  • Should a COVID-19 test not be presented, passengers will be required to enter mandatory quarantine for ten (10) days at their own cost. All travellers will be screened and should they display symptoms, they will be required to enter and remain in quarantine at a facility identified by the state and at their own cost.
  • It is vital that travellers have mandatory travel insurance. 
  • All travellers will be required to download the COVID Alert SA App. 

The Department of Home Affairs will extend the validity of visas legally issued which may have expired during the lockdown period. These visas will be extended until 31 January 2021 for those already in South Africa. 

Should you have any questions, please contact your dedicated Travel Manager or contact us HERE

Further information related to COVID-19 and risk-adjusted strategies for South Africa can be found HERE

Please visit our Travel News website HERE for the latest traveller updates and news.