COVID-19: What you need to know about traveling to South Africa

COVID-19: What you need to know about traveling to South Africa

These are the regulations that you need to adhere to when traveling to South Africa from another country amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Traveling during covid-19
Traveling during covid-19 / iStock

Travel and tourism have been affected by the coronavirus that hit South Africa in 2020. 

The government has put in place measures to ensure that it curbs the spread of the deadly virus, which has killed over 80,000 people in South Africa alone. 

With the country being in lockdown level one, some of the travel regulations have been eased and people can travel in and out of South Africa. 

But there are regulations that travellers need to be aware of before making their way in or out of the country. 

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Using the border

The following regulations stated on the government website are for those who will be entering South Africa.

Daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend or teach at a school in the Republic, and who are allowed entry into and exit from the Republic, are subject to compliance with protocols relating to-

(a) screening for COVID -19 and quarantine or isolation, where necessary;

(b) the wearing of a face mask;

(c) transportation; and

(d) sanitisation and social distancing measures as per the relevant health protocols on safety and prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

READ: "Travel at your own risk'- Naledi Pandor on international travels


Those flying into South Africa from other countries will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test certificate. 

“All international travellers arriving at the above airports must provide a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 test, recognised by the World Health Organisation, which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel,” states the South African government website

Those who do not have the certificate will be asked to test and isolate for ten days. 

“In the event of the traveller's failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative COVID-19 test, the traveller will be required to do an antigen test on arrival at his or her own cost and in the event of a traveller testing positive for COVID-19, he or she will be required to isolate him or herself at his or her own cost, for a period of 10 days,” states the government website

To curb the spread of the virus, domestic flight passengers are not allowed to eat onboard. 

The government only permits drinking of water, and an operator conducting a domestic flight is also only allowed to provide bottled water and no catering. 

International passengers are allowed to eat onboard. 

“An operator conducting an international flight is allowed to provide catering on-board the aircraft: Provided that they take all risk mitigation, health and safety measures to contain the spread of COVID -19 including the provision of pre-packed meals,” states the South African government website

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Image courtesy of iStock/ @ronstik

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