It will officially open up to most countries for inbound and outbound business, leisure, and other travel
With the borders closed since late March this year, international travelers to South Africa can rejoice at the newest developments. The country’s president has announced it will reopen to most countries for inbound and outbound travel from 1 October.
The news follows as the country has managed to flatten the curve of the spread and is now reporting the lowest numbers of new infections since May with restrictions on movement and businesses gradually easing since June.
While border reopening is good news for some, certain countries may still be red-listed based on their epidemiological developments.
Beaches, parks, hotels, restaurants, and more will resume operations
Tourism is a substantial part of South Africa’s revenue — in 2019, the country welcomed close to 17 million visitors — and border reopening is among the top priorities for its economy.
International travelers will be allowed into the country via three of the country’s airports — Johannesburg’s OR Tambo, Cape Town International, and Durban’s King Shaka. An overland crossing will be restricted to certain posts, which remained open during the lockdown period.
Beaches will be open as well as wildlife game parks and other environmental tourist sites. Hotels, restaurants, fitness centers, and other tourist facilities will resume operations, although with possible capacity limitations and restricted opening hours.
“We are ready to open our doors again to the world and invite travelers to enjoy our mountains, our beaches, our vibrant cities, and our wildlife game parks in safety and confidence,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa about the reopening.
Safety measures will be in place to promote responsible travel
The government has announced certain measures to be in place to ensure everyone’s safety.
Travelers will have to present a negative PCR test taken 72 hours or less before departure. If they fail to bring the test, they will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival. All travelers will be also required to undergo health screening, such as temperature checks.
Moreover, face masks will stay mandatory in all public places and there will be limitations on the number of persons at social gatherings and a curfew from midnight until early morning hours.
Is October a good time to visit South Africa?
October is a popular month to visit South Africa as it enters the spring period. If flying into Johannesburg airport, visitors can enjoy the site of jacaranda trees in full bloom. Seen from high up, the city is dotted with purple. Sometimes it’s referred to as an urban jungle.
Temperatures in Johannesburg hover at low to mid 20C in October so travelers can pack lightly.
Both Durban and Cape Town lie at the coast and if the weather allows, it’s possible to take a dip in the sea. Cape Town’s most iconic landmark, Table Mountain, is a popular place to hike up and take in the view of the city while at Boulders Beach one can come across a colony of wild African penguins.
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