COVID-19 travel restrictions: South Africa

Travel Restrictions

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This article has been written on the March 16, 2022 and contains accurate information. However, we highly recommend you check the latest travel requirements before you book a trip since covid regulations are constantly updating.

Can I enter South Africa?

Presently, South Africa is open to all travelers from around the world. However, several COVID-19 restrictions are still in place. Please take your time to learn the regulations below.

Before departing to South Africa, the first thing you have to do is complete an Entry Screening Questionnaire.

Two hikers in South Africa — ShutterstockSouth Africa welcomes tourists from all countries — Shutterstock

Can I enter South Africa if I am vaccinated?

You can enter South Africa if you are vaccinated. You are considered fully vaccinated if you have received both doses of a double-dose vaccination or one dose of a single-dose vaccination at least 14 days before entering South Africa.

As of January 2022, there are four vaccines approved in South Africa:

  • Johnson & Johnson 
  • Pfizer
  • Sinovac (CoronaVac)
  • Covishield (Oxford / AstraZeneca formulation)

Travel documents if you are vaccinated

If you are vaccinated, present both documents in printed versions:

  • A vaccination certificate 
  • A negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival 

Please be aware that if you fail to present the test, you will be required to undergo a rapid antigen test upon arrival in South Africa.

Can I enter South Africa if I am unvaccinated?

You can enter South Africa if you are unvaccinated. 

Travel documents if I am unvaccinated

If you are unvaccinated, you have to present printed versions of:

  • Documentation of recovery from COVID-19 that is less than 180 days old and a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival
  • Or only a PCR test no more than 72 hours old

Please be aware that if you fail to present the test, you will be required to undergo a rapid antigen test upon arrival in South Africa.

Can I leave South Africa?

There are no COVID-19 restrictions for leaving South Africa. 

Please note that South Africa has been added to the list of “banned” territories in many countries due to the omicron variant. Take your time to check the requirements of your destination country concerning permission on entry, COVID-19 tests, and quarantine. The requirements listed below relate to the countries that permit entry. In addition, some countries may demand complementary documents besides the basic ones presented below. 

Travel documents if I am vaccinated

  • A certificate of full vaccination against COVID-19 in paper or electronic format

Travel documents if I am unvaccinated

  • A certificate of recovery from COVID-19 (no more than 180 days old before the day of crossing the border of a particular country)
  • A negative covid test result (the relevant period and kind of test may vary, please check the requirements of the destination country)

Traveling to “red” or “non-red” countries from South Africa

Presently, South Africa does not distinguish between “red” and “non-red” countries. 

COVID-19 situation in South Africa currently

Most countries currently categorize South Africa as a “very high risk” area. 

Colored Beach Huts — Cape Town, South Africa — ShutterstockColorful beach huts in Cape Town — Shutterstock

FAQs 

Is it safe to travel to South Africa right now?

Currently, South Africa is not necessarily a “covid safe” destination. However, you can increase your safety if you follow basic regulations like wearing masks both indoors and outdoors.

Is Cape Town open to travel?

Cape Town is open to travel. Please note that COVID-19 regulations in the capital are the same as countrywide. 

Do I have to quarantine if I go to South Africa?

You have to self-isolate for ten days if you fail to present a PCR test upon arrival and your rapid antigen test is positive upon arrival in South Africa.

How do I get a health pass to travel to South Africa?

Presently, there are no health passes with QR codes in South Africa. You are to have a printed copy of your COVID-19-related documents. The digital version is not accepted.

What are the biggest international airports in South Africa?

Here is a list of the biggest international airports in South Africa:

Useful links:

Do you want more travel restrictions articles? Visit our Travel Restriction section at Kiwi.com Stories