What are the travel restrictions for South Africa?

Everything you need to know about the latest update on travel restrictions for South Africa

The call of the wild in South Africa is too beautiful to ignore. But before you pack your bags and head over to this exciting destination, be sure to check travel advisories from government websites. A Covid-19 Omicron variant is looming its ugly head. You do not want to spend precious time in a quarantine facility.

What is the latest update?

As of January 28, 2022, several countries have announced eased travel restrictions for South Africa as governments shift towards the endemic phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. Travelling from South Africa would require you to obtain a negative Covid-19 PCR test result 48 hours before departure. Also, a negative RAT test at the pre-departure area is needed. Mandatory testing is a requisite upon return to your country.

Like other countries, Australia has also relaxed the requirements for pre-departure testing for international arrivals to the country. While a Covid-19 PCR test remains the gold standard, a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours is also an indicator if the traveller has contracted the virus before flying to Australia.

Is South Africa open for international travel now?

Moderate restrictions as 28th January 2022

International travel through Johannesburg, Cape town, and Durban airports is possible, subject to the usual visa regulations and health and safety protocols.

Travel rules and restrictions may vary at short notice. Be sure to check out government websites to stay informed and updated before you travel.

Travel guidelines from Australia to South Africa

Travel guidelines from Australia to South Africa

For entry into South Africa

1. Test/Medical certificate required

            a. To enter South Africa, passengers must present a paper certificate of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken not later than 72 hours before departure.

            b. Failure to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test result will require you to take the test upon arrival at your own cost.

            c. A positive test result would mean mandatory quarantine for ten days at a facility appointed by the government.

 2. Travel with children

            a. Children under the age of five are not required to take the Covid-19 PCR test.

            b. Children travelling on a valid passport with one or both parents are not required to present birth certificates, parental consent letters, or other supporting documents.

            c. Unaccompanied minors (under 18 years old) or traveling with a legal guardian need to present the aforementioned legal documents.

3. Medical certificate and other measures

            a. Aside from a paper copy of your medical certificate showing a negative Covid-19 result, you are required to undergo health checks (including temperature screening and visual assessment) upon arrival.

            b. For those displaying symptoms of Covid-19, further health testing may be required.

            c. Other medical measures include a health questionnaire to be filled up 48 hours before departure.

            d. Check if your contact details are correct and up to date in government declarations so that health authorities can contact you if necessary.

4. Passport validity

            a. Check the validity of your passport before travelling. It should be valid for more than six months.

            b. It must have at least two completely blank pages to endorse an entry permit on them.

            c. If your passport is lost or stolen, contact the Australian government immediately.

            d. Always carry a passport size photo with you.

5. Visa-free travel for short stays

  • Except for other cases, you won’t need a visa if you visit as a tourist for 90 days.

6. Money  

  • Foreign nationals can enter South Africa with a maximum of USD 10,000 or foreign currency equivalent to USD 10,000.

7. Other formalities

            a. South African dual nationals cannot enter or leave South Africa with a foreign passport.

            b. South African authorities do not accept provisional travel documents. However, they recommend an Australian emergency passport.

Government measures you should be aware of

Government measures you should be aware of

Currently, Alert level 1 restrictions are in place across the country.

  • Preventive health measures such as wearing of face mask, frequent hand washing, and social distancing are encouraged to counter further outbreaks.
  • Public transport is operating at a limited capacity.
  • The lifting of curfew removes restrictions on the hours of movement of the people.
  • Gatherings are at a maximum of 1000 people indoors and 2000 people outdoors.
  • Restaurants and bars are open with limited capacity to allow social distancing.
  • Shops and services are open, provided they conform to health and safety protocols.
  • Nightclubs remain closed.

On return to Australia

Guidelines on vaccinations and vaccinated travel

  • Travellers who present a valid international certificate showing complete vaccination against Covid-19 may be entitled to a shortened quarantine period.
  • The second and final dose must have been administered seven days before departure at the very least.
  • Please take note that not all vaccines are accepted everywhere.
  • All vaccines approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) are accepted.
  • Australia (New South Wales, Victoria, North Territories, Queensland) is open for vaccinated South Africans with some restrictions.

Quarantine requirements

Travellers entering Australia should quarantine for 14 days at a government-approved facility. State and territory governments determine quarantine requirements.

The wild is calling

As soon as you’re ready to travel to Africa, let a reputable travel agency help arrange your trip for you. Explore spectacular African destinations – South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Mozambique, just to name a few.

Whether you are looking for a romantic escape or a family filled weekend of fun, you will find both ideas and inspiration, the latest information, and tools to help you plan your next getaway.

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