Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Congo Democratic Republic
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back

TThe Minister of Transport announced various regulations around transport during the lockdown. Included in these regulations is aviation. During the lockdown, all domestic and international air travel will be prohibited. Click here to see Government Gazette related to these regulations.

South African Tourism - COVID-19:  23 March 2020

Please find the video by our CEO, sharing a special Travel Message:

Top Five Tips For Essentials Travel: 21 March 2020

https://live.southafrica.net/media/275968/top-five-tips-for-essential-travel.pdf

Travel bans, restrictions, and advice

 

National State of Disaster

On 15 March 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a National State of Disaster in the Republic of South Africa, to intensify measures against the spread of the Coronavirus, in terms of the Disaster Management Act. This activates South Africa’s disaster management mechanisms to prevent and reduce the outbreak of the virus.

Health experts have been emphatic that rapid interventions are key to flattening the epidemiological curve and prevent the number of confirmed infections from soaring. South Africa is at the beginning of this curve. The situation and implementation of disaster management measures is constantly evolving.

SA Tourism will continue to closely monitor and stay abreast of key development and the status quo, in order to bring our staff, global country offices, industry stakeholders and most importantly, travellers timely, reliable and pertinent updates, advise and notifications.

 

Impact on Travel

The declaration of a National State of Disaster provides the legal framework for restrictions on the entry, movement, exit and gathering of people, including for the purposes of leisure tourism and business travel.

The State of National Disaster entails restrictions on entry, movement and exit.

On 18 March 2020, the Minister of Transport promulgated the International Air Services (COVID -19 Restrictions on the movement of air travel Regulations 2020. These are effective as at 18 March 2020 and have been implemented with immediate effect.

These FAQs which will be iteratively updated, provides clarity on the implications of the National State of Disaster on travel into and out of South Africa by South African and foreign nationals through the imposition of these restrictions.

 

Can foreign nationals enter South Africa?

All entry of foreign travellers into South Africa from high-risk countries is suspended until further notice.

Entry into South Africa of a declared medical emergency of foreign nationals must be approved by the Port Health Services who are situated at all South African ports of entry.

 

Which countries are high risk countries?

South Africa has restricted access to foreign nationals and travellers from the following high-risk countries as listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO):

  • China
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Iran
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • France

This list is subject to change in line with risk rating of WHO.

 

Will other countries be added to this list?

The WHO lists high and moderate risk countries. The government acts in accordance with the list provided by the WHO. This list is subject to change and is updated by the WHO.

Please refer to the WHO website for updated lists and travel advisories - www.who.it

 

Are foreign nationals of any other country prevented from entering South Africa?

As a precaution, South Africa has imposed extra screening measures (i.e. travel history checking and testing) from places such as:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Portugal
  3. Singapore

This list is subject to change in line with the risk rating of WHO.

As for countries not mentioned on the WHO list, travel in South Africa is allowed and will be subjected to screening measures on arrival at any port of entry (land, sea and air).

 

Can travellers transit via South Africa to their country of residence?

Any traveller flying from South Africa directly to their country of residence can transit in South Africa.

 

Will foreign nationals with visas still be allowed to enter South Africa?

The South African Government has decided that imposing visa restrictions are the only mechanism by which to control access for foreign nationals and travellers from high-risk countries.

All visas already issued since January 2020 to foreign nationals and travellers from high-risk countries who have not yet entered South Africa are revoked with immediate effect.

 

What will happen to pending visa applications of a foreign national or traveller from a high-risk country?

Any pending and new visa application by a foreign national or traveller from high-risk countries will not be approved with immediate effect, until further notice. Any foreign national who has visited any high-risk country in the past 20 days will be denied a visa if applied for.

 

Are foreign nationals from high-risk countries currently in South Africa on valid short-term visas allowed to extend their stay in South Africa?

Yes. Foreign nationals from high-risk countries presently in South Africa on valid short-term visa which may expire, may apply to the Department of Home Affairs for visa extensions. Each application will be considered on its merits.

 

What will happen with foreign nationals and travellers from high-risk countries, which to date did not require a visa to enter South Africa?

Regardless of visa requirements, all entry of foreign nationals and travellers with ordinary passports travelling from the identified high-risk countries is suspended until further notice.                                                                                                      

Will these travel and visa restrictions remain enforce post COVID-19?

According to the “Travel Advisory in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic” issued by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation on 17 March 2020, travel bans and restrictions will remain in force until further notice.

 

Are there travel restrictions on South African citizens and permanent residents abroad?

Entry into South Africa of returning South African citizens and permanent residents who departed South Africa prior to the travel restrictions which came into effect on 18 March 2020, is allowed.

South African citizens returning from high-risk countries will be subjected to testing and self-isolation or quarantine on return to South Africa.

 

Will South African citizens and permanents residents currently in South Africa be allowed to travel?

South African citizens and permanent residents are advised to refrain from all use of air travel until further notice. Non-essential travel to other countries should also be cancelled or postponed.

South African citizens and permanent residents who choose to depart South Africa after the 18 March 2020, will not be allowed to reenter South Africa until further notice.

South African citizens and permanents residents planning to travel or transit through high-risk countries should refrain from doing so until further notice.

South African citizens and permanent residents should also refrain from traveling on cruise ships due to the inherent risks in such travel, until further notice. This is effective immediately.

South African citizens and should be aware that there are health risks when they travel and should check the travel and health notices for COVID-19 at their destinations.

South African citizens and permanent residents currently abroad should contact the South African Mission or Consulate in the country of their destination, to inform them of their presence in the country and provide them with information such as contact details, duration of stay, etc.

 

Testing and Quarantine

All foreign nationals and travellers from high risk countries who are currently in South Africa, as well as South African citizens and permanents residents who have returned from high risk countries, must adhere to the health advisory implemented by the National Department of Health.

 

When should foreign nationals and travellers from high-risk countries currently in South Africa present themselves for testing?

Foreign nationals and travellers from high-risk countries currently in South Africa should present themselves for testing when they feel they are developing or have symptoms. If in South Africa, they must contact the hotline – 0800 029 999

 

When should South African citizens and permanents residents who have returned from high risk countries present themselves for testing?

South African citizens and permanents residents who have returned from high risk countries should present themselves for testing when they feel they are developing or have symptoms.

 

What is the process to be followed by foreign nationals and travellers from high-risk countries currently in South Africa, who are developing or have symptoms?

Foreign nationals and travellers from high-risk countries currently in South Africa, who develop and have symptoms, should present themselves to a general practitioner. The GP will refer the patient to the relevant public health facility, clinic or laboratory where test will be conducted. The facility will refer the results to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the National Health Laboratory Services for verification. The patient will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days irrespective of results.

If results test positive, the patients will be required to self-isolate upon confirmation of positive result. The relevant Department of Health with jurisdiction will be in contact with the patient to advise of the procedures to be followed

Upon confirmation of positives result, the National Department of Health will undertake to track and trace for contacts of the patient.

 

What can foreign and South Africa travellers arriving in South Africa from a country other than a high-risk country, expect upon entry into South Africa?

All travellers entering South Africa will be required to complete and submit the prescribed health form and hand it to health officials and immigration officers on arrival in South Africa.

All travellers will be subjected to medical screening for COVID-19 when entering South Africa and, if required, can be isolated or quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days.

 

Public Hotline

Travellers who develop symptoms of respiratory illness (cough, fever and shortness of breath) after travel to countries where the Coronavirus is prevalent, must seek medical care early and share their travel history with their healthcare providers.

For more information travellers with symptoms can contact the Public Hotline:

0800 029 999

Weekdays, 08h00 to 16h00

 

 

Official WhatsApp Help Services

Send HI to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp.
Or share this link: https://wa.me/27600123456?text=Hi

 

UPDATE: 20 March 2020, SAA suspends all international flights until end of May 2020

Click here to read the press release

UPDATE: 19 March 2020 South Africa’s response to COVID-19,  Coronavirus

National State of Disaster

On 15 March 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a National State of Disaster in the Republic of South Africa, to intensify measures against the spread of the Coronavirus, in terms of the Disaster Management Act. This activates South Africa’s disaster management mechanisms to prevent and reduce the outbreak of the virus.

Health experts have been emphatic that rapid interventions are key to flattening the epidemiological curve and prevent the number of confirmed infections from soaring. South Africa is at the beginning of this curve. The situation and implementation of disaster management measures is constantly evolving.

SAT will continue to closely monitor and stay abreast of key development and the status quo, in order to bring our staff, global country offices, industry stakeholders and most importantly, travellers timely, reliable and pertinent updates, advise and notifications.

 

Impact on Travel

The declaration of a National State of Disaster provides the legal framework for restrictions on the entry, movement, exit and gathering of people, including for the purposes of leisure tourism and business travel.

The State of National Disaster entails restrictions on entry, movement and exit.

On 18 March 2020, the Minister of Transport promulgated the International Air Services (COVID -19 Restrictions on the movement of air travel Regulations 2020. These are effective as at 18 March 2020 and have been implemented with immediate effect.

These FAQs which will be iteratively updated, provides clarity on the implications of the National State of Disaster on travel into and out of South Africa by South African and foreign nationals through the imposition of these restrictions.

 

Q: Can foreign nationals enter South Africa ?

A: All entry of foreign travellers into South Africa from high-risk countries is suspended until further notice.

Entry into South Africa of a declared medical emergency of foreign nationals, must be approved by the Port Health Services.

 

Q: Which countries are high risk countries ?

A:  South Africa has restricted access to foreign nationals and travellers from the following high-risk countries as listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO):

  • China
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Iran
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • France

This list is subject to change in line with risk rating of WHO.

 

Q: Will other countries be added to this list?  

A: The WHO lists high and moderate risk countries. Government acts in accordance with the list provided by the WHO. This list is subject to change and is updated by the WHO.

Please refer to the WHO website for updated lists and travel advisories - https://www.who.int/

 

Q: Are foreign nationals of any other countries prevented from entering South Africa?

A: As a precaution, South Africa has imposed extra screening measures (i.e. travel history checking and testing) from places such as:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Portugal
  3. Singapore

This list is subject to change in line with risk rating of WHO.

 

Q: Can travellers transit via South Africa to their country of residence?

A: Any traveller flying via South Africa directly to their country of residence can transit in South Africa.

 

Q: Will foreign nationals with visa still be allowed to enter South Africa ?

A: The South African Government has decided that imposing visa restrictions are the only mechanism by which to control access for foreign nationals and travellers from high-risk countries.

All visas already issued since January 2020 to foreign nationals and travellers from high-risk countries who have not yet entered South Africa are revoked with immediate effect.

 

Q: What will happen to pending visa applications of a foreign national or traveller from a high-risk country?

A: Any pending and new visa application by a foreign national or traveller from high-risk countries will not be approved with immediate effect, until further notice. Any foreign national who has visited any high-risk country in the past 20 days will be denied a visa if applied for.

 

Q: Are foreign nationals from high-risk countries currently in South Africa on valid short-term visas allowed to extend they stay in South Africa. 

A: Yes. Foreign nationals from high-risk countries presently in South Africa on valid short-term visa which may expire, may apply to the Department of Home Affairs for visa extensions. Each application will be considered on its merits.

 

Q: What will happen with foreign nationals and travellers from high-risk countries, which to date did not require a visa to enter South Africa?

A: Regardless of visa requirements, all entry of foreign nationals and travellers with ordinary passports travelling from the identified high-risk countries is suspended until further notice.                                                                                                                                                         

Q: Will these travel and visa restrictions remain enforce post COVID-19?

A: According to the “Travel Advisory in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic” issued by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation on 17 March 2020, travel bans and restrictions will remain in force until further notice.

 

Q: Are there travel restrictions on South African citizens and permanent residents abroad?

A: Entry into South Africa of returning South African citizens and permanent residents who departed South Africa prior to the travel restrictions which came into effect on 18 March 2020, is allowed.

South African citizens returning from high-risk countries will be subjected to testing and self-isolation or quarantine on return to South Africa.

 

Q: Will South African citizens and permanents residents currently in South Africa be allowed to travel ?

A: South African citizens and permanent residents are advised to refrain from all use of air travel until further notice. Non-essential travel to other countries should also be cancelled or postponed.

South African citizens and permanent residents who choose to depart South Africa after the 18 March 2020, will not be allowed to reenter South Africa until further notice.

South African citizens and permanents residents planning to travel or transit through high-risk countries should refrain from doing so until further notice.

South African citizens and permanent residents should also refrain from traveling on cruise ships due to the inherent risks in such travel, until further notice. This is effective immediately.

South African citizens and should be aware that there are health risks when they travel and should check the travel and health notices for COVID-19 at their destinations.

South African citizens and permanent residents currently abroad should contact the South African Mission/Consulate in the country of their destination, to inform them of their presence in the country and provide them with information such as contact details, duration of stay, etc.

 

Testing and Quarantine

All foreign nationals and travellers from high risk countries who are currently in South Africa, as well as South African citizens and permanents residents who have returned from high risk countries, must adhere to the health advisory implemented by the National Department of Health. 

 

Q: When should foreign nationals and travellers from high-risk countries currently in South Africa present themselves for testing?

A: Foreign nationals and travellers from high-risk countries currently in South Africa should present themselves for testing when they feel they are developing or have symptoms. If in South Africa, they must contact the hotline – 0800 029 999

 

Q: When should South African citizens and permanents residents who have returned from high risk countries present themselves for testing?

A: South African citizens and permanents residents who have returned from high risk countries should present themselves for testing when they feel they are developing or have symptoms.

 

Q: What is the process to be followed by foreign nationals and travellers from high-risk countries currently in South Africa, who are developing or have symptoms?

A: Foreign nationals and travellers from high-risk countries currently in South Africa, who develop and have symptoms, should present themselves to a general practitioner. The GP will refer the patient to the relevant public health facility, clinic or laboratory where test will be conducted. The facility will refer the results to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the National Health Laboratory Services for verification.

The patient will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days irrespective of results.

If results test positive, the patients will be required to self-isolate upon confirmation of positive result. The relevant Department of Health with jurisdiction will be in contact with the patient to advise of the procedures to be followed.

Upon confirmation of positives result, the National Department of Health will undertake to track and trace for contacts of the patient.

 

Q: What can foreign and South Africa travellers arriving in South Africa from a country other than a high-risk country, expect upon entry into South Africa ?

A: All travellers entering South Africa will be required to complete and submit the prescribed health form and hand it to health officials and immigration officers on arrival in South Africa.

All travellers will be subjected to medical screening for COVID-19 when entering South Africa and, if required, can be isolated or quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days.

 

Public Hotline

Travellers who develop symptoms of respiratory illness (cough, fever and shortness of breath) after travel to countries where the Coronavirus is prevalent, must seek medical care early and share their travel history with their healthcare providers.

For more information travellers with symptoms can contact the Public Hotline:

0800 029 999

Weekdays, 08h00 to 16h00

 

Official WhatsApp Help Services

Send HI to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp.
Or share this link: https://wa.me/27600123456?text=Hi

 

UPDATE: 15 March 2020, Statement by president Cyril Ramaphosa on measures to combat COVID-19 epidemic

Please click here to read the statement in full

Highlights from President Ramaphosa’s Address:

  1.  A travel ban has been issued for high risk countries including Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, UK, US and China. This is effective from 18 March
  2.  South Africans have been advised to cancel travel to high risk countries, effective immediately 
  3.  Any foreign national who has recently visited any of the high risk areas will be denied a visa into South Africa
  4.  South Africans coming home from any of the high risk areas will be subject to high intensity scanning and testing 
  5.  All persons who travelled to any of the high risk countries since mid-February must present themselves for scanning 
  6.  35 of the 53 land ports of entry will be shut down
  7.  Gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited
  8.  Schools will be closed from Wednesday, 18 March until after the Easter weekend
  9.  Businesses are called upon to take measures to intensify hygiene control
  10.  South Africans are urged to cancel all non-essential travel both internationally and domestically  
  11.  A National Command Council has been established and will meet 3 times a week to coordinate responses to the pandemic

UPDATE: 12 March 2020, SAA adheres to WHO and IATA protocols on COVID-19 Coronavirus

South African Airways (SAA) assures customers that its operational health and safety procedures adhere to the World Health Organisation’s protocols to protect its customers and crew from contracting the COVID-19 (coronavirus) while flying with SAA.

SAA follows procedures, advice and guidelines from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organisation, International Air Transport Association (IATA), Civil Aviation Authorities as well as the airports and customs authorities’ directives to ensure the safety of its customers.

“The safety, health and wellbeing of our customers and crew is a number one priority.  To ensure their wellbeing, we adhere to the following procedures:

  • To clean the aircraft, SAA uses the disinfectants, which have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are effective against the COVID-19 (coronavirus).
  • The cleaning protocols our teams use to clean our aircraft have been intensified and focus among other things,  on high frequent touch points such as handles, seatbelt buckles, tray tables and armrests.
  • Hard surfaces such as lavatories, galley units and window shades are also thoroughly cleaned with multi-purpose cleaners.
  • The Airbus fleet is equipped with state-of-the-art, High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that sift out and remove dust, bacteria, allergens and other unhygienic particles.
  • SAA crew have been trained to handle situations involving communicable diseases or any other medical emergencies on board and they work closely with ground and inflight expert medical assistance.
  • All our aircraft are loaded with bio-hazardous spill kits in case of a contamination event (or to handle a contamination event) and cleaning materials.

“We assess all our passengers and advise that if they are feeling ill, they need to follow recommendations offered by medical professionals,” SAA said in a statement.

SAA said that although it is following customs limits and guidelines, passengers are welcome to travel with antibacterial wipes and hand sanitisers.

SAA crew use officially approved and industry recognised disinfectants on all flights. Cabin crew (Flight attendants) use gloves sanctioned by the food industry.  The airline uses sanitation procedures for all domestic, regional and international flights.  Should a passenger show any respiratory symptoms on board, i.e. coughing, sneezing, our crew will provide a surgical mask to the passenger to prevent transmission of micro-organisms.

Should health authorities inform the airline that a person who travelled with SAA exhibited coronavirus symptoms, the aircraft will be taken out of service and put through a decontamination process.

While SAA takes all the necessary steps to ensure that their customers enjoy a healthy flying experience, the airline advises customers to also take precautions to stay healthy while flying.

The Global recommended Precautionary tips include:

  • Wash hands with soap often;
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser after touching any surface;
  • Avoid touching eyes, face and nose;
  • Avoid contact with coughing passengers by whatever means possible and
  • Stay home if sick.

We thank customers for the support by continuing to place their trust in South African Airways with their travel plans.

For further information, please contact:

SAA Spokesperson
Mr Tlali Tlali 
Email:               TlaliTlali@flysaa.com
Mobile:             +27 (0)82 333-3880
Office:               +27 (0)11 978-2298

Please click here to view the press release

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2020 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy