Home Travel NewsCovid Travel News Q&A: When will South Africa’s borders reopen?

Q&A: When will South Africa’s borders reopen?

by Sharron Livingston
South Africa

It’s been a long eight months for South Africa since it closed its borders to tourists. Finally the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosathey has agreed to open the doors to international visitors to South Africa effective immediately’. This includes visitors from the UK.

This means that both inbound and outbound tourism is back.

South Africa suffered severely at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic losing 15,992 lives to the virus. Stringent lockdown measures were put in place on March 27 and these have flattened the curves successfully.

The national lockdown alert is currently at level one following a significant decrease in infections. On average there are fewer than 2,000 daily coronavirus cases

Before lockdown, South Africa welcomed around 17 million tourists per year making tourism an important industry. The mountains, beaches, vibrant cities and wildlife game parks such as Kruger National Park are the most popular destinations.

The news of reopening of borders will no doubt result in a collective sigh of relief as previously it was thought that the country might not open to international travellers until spring 2021. The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), had been lobbying for the government to reopen the country to international travellers as early as this month.

Three international airports – Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport – will be opening as well as one port.

South Africa does not yet have a travel corridor with the UK. However, given its low case rate of 19.5 per 100,000 citizens based on seven-day figures, could soon have one approved.

What are the entry requirements for South Africa?

Entry requirements into South Africa include a COVID-19 free certificate no later than 72 hours within the date of arrival or face quarantine on arrival. 

There will also be screening for symptoms and visitors are required to register with South Africa’s contact tracing app.


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