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RReopening of Borders & Services during Alert Level 1

All 18 land ports of entry will be opened with effect from 1 October 2020. The other 35 land ports of entry remain closed.

The Department of Home Affairs is extending the validity period of legally issued visas which expired during the lockdown period to 31 January 2021.

Holders of such visas are permitted to remain in the country under the conditions of their visas until 31 January 2021. Those wishing to be repatriated to their countries within this period can depart without being declared undesirable persons.

The Department is also resuming services for applications for identity cards or documents and for all types of passports.

Visa services, including submission of applications through VFS Global, will also resume in the following categories:

  • Visitor’s visas
  • Study visa
  • Treaty visa
  • Business visa
  • Crew visa
  • Medical treatment visa
  • Relative’s visa
  • General work visa
  • Critical skills work visa
  • Intra-company transfer work visa
  • Retired person visa
  • Corporate visa
  • Exchange visa
  • Waiver of the prescribed requirement, as contemplated in section 31(2)(c)
  • Appeals or reviewcontemplated in section 8 of the Immigration Act

Some of these services will also be available through our Missions abroad.

Any person from a country listed as having a high COVID-19 infection and transmission rate, who wish to undertake business travel into South Africa, may with effect from 01 October 2020, in writing, apply to the Minister of Home Affairs and demonstrate reasons for their request to enter the Republic for business purposes during the period of the national state of disaster.

Such applications must be directed to email and supported by:

  1. A copy of passport and/or temporary residence visa
  2. ​Proof of business activities to be undertaken in the Republic 
  3. Proof of travel itinerary
  4. Proof of address or accommodation in the Republic

We need to remind our people that the fact that we are at level 1 lockdown, does not mean that the Covid-19 pandemic is over. We still have to take precautions, and some of them might be very hard decisions to make. But this will be done in such a way that it strikes a balance between saving lives and livelihoods.

In this regard, the opening of international travel will follow a Risk-Adjusted Approach. Earlier today, a list of high-risk countries was read at a Press Conference. Unfortunately, this list was not exhaustive, and might also have included some countries by mistake. We are hereby releasing the whole updated list, and we heartily apologize for any confusion and any inconvenience caused by the earlier release:

  • Albania ​​​
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil ​​​ ​​​​
  • Chile
  • ​​​Columbia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia 
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • France​​​
  • Georgia 
  • Greece
  • Guatemala 
  • Guyana​​​
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Iran
  • ​​​Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Luxemburg ​​
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro ​​​
  • Nepal ​​
  • Netherlands 
  • North Macedonia
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru ​​​
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Suriname
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • ​​​United Emirates
  • United Kingdom              
  • USA
  • Venezuela

We need to emphasize once more that people who are not allowed from these high-risk countries are leisure travelers only. Other categories of people from these countries are allowed under special conditions, as appears in the Regulations and Directions.

The above list will be reviewed every fortnight.

Source: Department of Home Affairs


IImplications of risk adjusted lockdown level three for the tourism industry

The National Coronavirus Command Council has announced that the whole country will move to Level 3 of the Risk Adjusted Strategy from 01 June 2020. Further amendments have been made to the measures pertaining to Level 3 effective 25 June 2020.

All domestic and international travel as well as interprovincial movement remains prohibited except for people are travelling for the purposes of work or the specific provisions stipulated in the legislation. Domestic flights for business purposes will be available between OR Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka International Airports. Lanseria Airport will be added when the port health capacity has been arranged and the government has certified it open.

Car rental companies are allowed to operate.

All hotels and establishments – except accommodation establishments not formally accredited and licensed, such as private homes for paid leisure accommodation - are allowed open if they are providing accommodation for people travelling for the purpose of business permitted under Level 3, international tourists who remain in South Africa or are appointed as quarantine facilities. No accommodation establishments are allowed to open for leisure purposes. Establishments will no longer require letters from the Minister of Tourism to operate. 

Restaurants, take-aways, and food establishments are allowed to open for delivery and collection of food. Sit-down meals are allowed with strict adherence to all health protocols and social distancing measures. Liquor is not allowed for on-site consumption. All restaurants with liquor licences are allowed to sell alcohol for takeout and delivery during the legislated hours from 09:00 to 17:00 on Mondays to Thursdays. 

Professional services such as tourist guides, tour operators, travel agents and tourism information officers including training of nature guides and other related services are allowed to come back into operation.

Public and private game farms are open to travellers from the same provinces for self-drive excursions from 06:00 to 18:00. Hunting and gaming activities are allowed. The following gatherings are allowed under strict adherence to all health protocols and social distancing measures:

  • Conferences and meetings for less than 50 people, excluding those who participate through electronic platforms, and are restricted for business purposes
  • Casinos provided that the number of persons allowed in the casino is not more than 50 percent of the available floor space, with patrons observing a distance of at least one and a half metres from each other
  • Museums and galleries

All restaurants, fast food outlets and coffee shops; hotels, lodges, bed and breakfast, time share facilities, resorts and guest house, conference and meeting venues including casinos will provide detailed training for their staff and inform staff of their responsibility to advise the employer if they are tested positive for Covid-19 or have been in contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive.

Click here for a copy of the Risk Adjusted Regulations applicable to Level 3

Click here for a copy of the directions issued by the National Department of Tourism


Standard protocols for Covid-19 operations applicable to the tourism industry

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) has developed comprehensive protocols for the operation of all types of tourism businesses or facilities in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. The protocols align with the World Health Organisation (WHO), National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and Department of Health guidelines and advice. These will be revisited and adjusted as required on an on-going basis. They cover customer information, Personal Protective Equipment, physical distancing, and sanitisation and hygiene practices, among others, for staff and customers.

We are confident that these extensive protocols will enable the travel, tourism and related industries to operate safely as COVID-19 restrictions are eased. The protocols address all the acknowledged risk areas related to travel and tourism. Click here for a copy of the TBCSA Protocols.



South African Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona hosted Glenton de Kock, CEO of the South African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI), and Projeni Pather, Chairperson of The Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO), on a webinar to discuss the implications of easing the lockdown levels on the MICE sector.

The discussion addressed the need to change the narrative around business events, sustainable pricing models, educating corporate clients and the industry on guidelines for hosting events and exhibitions learning from countries such as Germany, New Zealand and China who have opened the events and exhibitions.

TTourism Sector Recovery Webinar: 11 May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has had severe and far-reaching consequences for the travel, tourism, and hospitality sector. The Tourism Business Council of South Africa, The National Department of Tourism and South African Tourism are putting in place a tourism recovery plan.

To ensure that the plan reflects perspectives from across our diverse sector, a platform has been created to provide industry stakeholders with an opportunity to provide suggestions for managing the crisis and charting the sector’s recovery. 

Please visit the platform to make submissions towards the recovery plan and how we can collectively de-risk the sector.

To make your submission, please click here


SState Of Tourism Sector Webinar - 30 April 2020

The Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane and SA Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona, discussed the state of the tourism sector as well as plans and ideas on how to open up the sector as part of government’s phased approach to opening up the economy and a path towards the recovery of the tourism sector in a webinar on 29 April 2020.

SA Tourism will continue engage with organizations and individuals in the tourism sector. We encourage you to have conversations with your associations to create a way forward.

If you were unable to join us or want to revisit the content, click here to watch a recording of the webinar.


WWebinar 3 - Tourism Recovery Plan by South African Tourism: 17 April

SA Tourism hosted the third and final webinar in the tourism recovery plan series on Thursday, 16 April 2020. The views and insights expressed by the panelists and the contributions from the participants during the webinar series will be taken into consideration when building the recovery plans for the tourism sector.

Seeza Destination Network’s Septi Bukula, James Latham, Producer at The Iceberg Consultancy, Mariette du Toit of Helmbold, CEO of Destinate and Thomas Mueller of rainmaker shared their views on the way forward for their specific sectors.

SA Tourism will continue engage with organizations and individuals in the tourism sector. We encourage you to have conversations with your associations to create a way forward.

If you were unable to join us or want to revisit the content, click here to watch a recording of the webinar.

WWebinar 2 - Tourism Recovery Plan by South African Tourism: 14 April

Thank you to everyone who participated in the second session of SA Tourism’s three-part webinar series to discuss a recovery plan for the tourism sector.

Our Panellists - Michael Tollman, the CEO of Cullinan Holdings, Fouad Caunhye, the Regional Manager of Emirates, Stephan Ekbergh, the CEO of Travelstart, Velma Corcoran, the Sub-Saharan African Manager of Airbnb and David Ryan, CEO and Founder of Rhino Africa participated in the second webinar held on Tuesday, 14 April, to contribute ideas towards gearing up the sector for the post-Covid-19 era.

If you were unable to join us or want to revisit the content, click here to watch a recording of the webinar.

PPlease click here to register to join the third webinar in this series, taking place on Thursday 16 April 2020.

WWebinar - Tourism Recovery Plan by South African Tourism: 09 April 2020

Thank you to everyone who participated in the first session of SA Tourism’s three-part webinar series to discuss a recovery plan for the tourism sector.
Our panellists – Suzanne Bayly-Coupe of Classic Portfolios, Chris Mears of African Travel and Tourism Association, Graham Wood of Sun International and Elmar Conradie of FlySafair – provided invaluable insights that will be incorporated into the recovery plan SA Tourism is drafting. Our participants touched on many points and issues that we will take forward in our considerations when drafting a recovery plan as well as discussions with other industry players.
If you were unable to join us or want to revisit the content, click here to watch a recording of the webinar.

WWebinar - Tourism Recovery Plan by South African Tourism: 09 April 2020

SA Tourism is undertaking the process of compiling a Tourism Recovery Plan for the sector. As such, we have created a series of webinars in order to engage the Tourism Industry on solutions, scenarios, and a way forward which will form part of this recovery plan. There will be three sessions in total, each lasting 90 minutes.

The planned webinar sessions are as follows:

  • 1st session will be on Thursday 9 April 2020 at 12h00;
  • 2nd session will be on Tuesday 14 April 2020 at 12h00;
  • 3rd session will be on Thursday 16 April 2020 at 12h00.

Each webinar session will host a panel of four industry leaders across the spectrum of the tourism sector covering various aspects.  The sessions will be moderated by the CEO of SA Tourism.

The first session will be happening on 9 April 2020 from 12h00 to 13h30. The following thought leaders will be the panellists:

  • Suzanne Bayly-Coupe, CEO of Classic Portfolios;
  • Chris Mears, CEO of African Travel and Tourism Association (UK);
  • Graham Wood, COO of Sun International;
  • Elmar Conradie, CEO of FlySafair.

We will announce the panellists for the second and third sessions in due course.

We welcome your participation and engagement by registering to join the webinar, where you will be able to participate by suggesting solutions and posing questions live during the session.  These will be visible to all participants, including the panel for engagement.

To Register click here

IImportant information on the Tourism Relief Fund for SMMEs: 08 April 2020

The National Department of Tourism has made R200 million available to assist SMEs in the tourism and hospitality sector who are under particular stress due to the travel restrictions and the national lockdown. The Tourism Relief Fund provides once-off capped grant assistance to SMMES in the tourism value chain to ensure their sustainability during and post the implementation of the government measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa.

Click here for details on the Tourism Relief Fund Infographic for more information on the following:

  • Categories of establishments who are eligible to apply
  • Steps that you must follow to apply
  • The process for approval

TTlhahisoleseling ea bohlokoa ho letlole la di phahlello la bohahlaudi bakeng sa di-SMME: 08 April 2020

Lefapha la Naha la Bohahlaudi le entse di milione tse R200 ho thusa di-SME lefapheng la bohahlaudi le la ho amohela baeti ba tlas'a khatello e khethehileng ka lebaka la lithibelo tsa maeto le ho koaloa ha naha.

Letlole la di phallelo la Bohahlaudi le fana ka thuso ya hang-hang ya di thuso ho di-SMMES mokokotlong wa boleng ba bohahlauli ho netefatsa botsitso ba tsona nakong le ka mora ts'ebetsong ya mehato ya mmuso ya ho thibela ho hasana ha Covid-19 Afrika Borwa.

Tobetsa mona bakeng sa lintlha ho Letlole la di phallelo la Bohahlaudi bakeng sa tlhaiso-leseling e batsi ka tse latelang:

  • Mekhwa ya mekhatlo e loketseng ho etsa kopo
  • Mehato e o tlamehang ho e latela ho e sebedisa
  • Ketsahalo ya tumello

BBelangrike inligting oor die Toerismehulpfonds vir KMMO’s (Klein Medium en Mikro Ondernemings): 08 April 2020

Die Nasionale Departement van Toerisme het R200 miljoen beskikbaar gestel om KMMO’s in dietoerisme- en gasvryheidsektor wat weens reisbeperkings en die nasionale inperking gestrem word, te ondersteun.

Die Toerismehulpfonds bied ’n eenmalige, beperkte toekenningshulp aan KMMO’s in die toerisme-waardeketting, om hulle volhoubaarheid te verseker tydens, en ná die implementering van die regering se maatreëls om die verspreiding van Covid-19 in Suid Afrika te bekamp.

Kliek hier onder vir meer inligting oor die Toerismehulpfonds ten opsigte van die volgende:

  • Kategorieë van die verskillende toerismeondernemings wat aansoek kan doen;
  • Stappe wat gevolg moet word om aansoek te doen;
  • Die proses van goedkeuring.

UUmyalezo obalulekile mayelana noxhaso lokusiza osomabhizinisi abancane kwezokuvakasha: 08 April 2020

Umnyango kaHulumeni wezokuvakasha ukhiphe izigidi ezingamakhulu amabili amarandi (R200 million) ukuxhasa osomabhizinisi abancane nabasafufusa (SMMEs) abangaphansi  komnyango wezokuvakasha nokungcebeleka, ababhekene nezingqinamba ezibangelwe imigomo kaHulumeni yokuvala thaqa izwe. 

Loluxhaso luzosiza ukunikeza usizo kulabo somabhizinisi. Luzoba isamba esizophuma kanye ukuxhasa labosomabhizinisi ukuze bakwazi ukuzisimamisa ngesikhathi nangemuva kukathaqa, emizamweni kaHulumeni ukuvimba ukusabalala kwegciwane (Covid-19) eNingizimu Africa.

 Ungacindezela lapha ukuze uthola yonke imininingwane ngaloluxhaso:

  • Izinhlaka zabangakwazi ukufaka izicelo
  • Imigomo ekumelwe ilandelwe ukufaka izicelo
  • Uhlelo lokwamukeleka kwezicelo

UUseful information on how small businesses can survive Covid-19: 02 April 2020

Our team at Tourism Grading Council is committed to supporting you through this unprecedented time. We fully appreciate and understand the plight of SMEs and small business owners in the face of Covid-19 and have come across an insightful ebook written by Marnus Broodryk, which we believe may be valuable to you. Download the Small Business Covid-19 survival guide here.


SANCB discussions addressing the MICE industry:  27 March 2020

Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Chief Convention Bureau Officer at South African Tourism, discusses the impact of the Coronavirus and offers advice and invaluable insights to those in the MICE industry.

TTGCSA requests from properties:  25 March 2020

Tourism Grading Council of South Africa's executive - Darryl Erasmus - addresses requests from properties in the video below.


Over the last few weeks, COVID-19 has compelled countries, including our government, to devise a set of measures ranging from travel bans to events cancellations and now a lockdown in two days in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.

Please click here to download the full document


Guidance For Employers And Businesses

The following interim guidance are recommendations to help reduce the risk of workplace
exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The
guidance also provides planning considerations if there is community spread of COVID-19.

Cleaning And Hygiene

• Display materials encouraging frequent hand-washing with soap and water for 20 seconds
• Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace
• Provide disposable disinfectant wipes or hand sanitise for use by customers and employees

Sick Individuals

• Instruct employees to stay at home when they are sick
• Display signages at entrance doors stating “do not come in if sick” for customers and employees
• Provide tissues for covering noses and mouths when coughing or sneezing

Make sure you have an Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan in place. Those plans should include
the following:

Have A Plan In Place

• Reducing transmission among staff
• Protecting people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications
• Maintaining business operations
• Minimizing adverse effects on other entities in their supply chain

Source 1:
Source 2:

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