Since March, we’ve all watched as the coronavirus forced the closures of nearly every border around the globe. Countries around the world are starting to welcome back tourism by reopening their borders to international travelers. After nearly six months of lockdown, South Africa is one of the latest countries on that list.
‘We are ready to open our doors again to the world,” South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement announcing the decision, “and invite travelers to enjoy our mountains, our beaches, our vibrant cities, and our wildlife game parks in safety and confidence.”
High-risk travellers: are those who come from countries with higher numbers of COVID-19 infections and reported deaths compared to South Africa.
Medium risk travellers: are from countries with relatively equal number of infections and death toll to South Africa
Low risk travellers: obviously originate from countries with lesser number of infections of COVID-19 and death toll than South Africa.
Leisure travellers from high-risk countries will not be permitted, amongst them includes the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
“Travellers intending to visit the country will be expected to produce a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such test,” said Pandor.
Upon arrival in the port of entry, the traveller will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms or for contact with people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Travellers will also need to provide proof of accommodation address should they need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country.
Should the traveller display any COVID-19–related symptoms or been in contact with an infected person(s), they will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test. This test will be at the traveller’s cost. If the COVID-19 test comes back positive, the traveller will be subjected to a 10 day quarantine at a designated site. The accommodation at a quarantine site will be at the traveller’s cost.
However, South Africans are able to travel to any country that currently allows travellers from the country to visit.
Here is the list of high-risk countries:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- North Macedonia
- Puerto Rico
- United Emirates
- United Kingdom
Data for the mentioned countries will be reviewed every two weeks, and categories may change based on the data.
All visas that may have expired during the lockdown period remain valid until January 31, 2021.
Three airports will be opened and operational for international air travel. These airports are OR Tambo International (in Johannesburg, Gauteng), Cape Town International (in Cape Town, Western Cape) and King Shaka International ( in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal).