Which countries are allowed to come to South Africa? Are there different levels of risk and requirements?

Based on the latest WHO criteria on infection and death rates, South Africa has developed a risk categorisation model for different international travellers. This model classifies international travellers according to a scale of high, medium and low risk.  

High-risk travellers are those who come from countries with higher numbers of COVID-19 infections and reported deaths compared to South Africa. 

Medium risk travellers are from countries with a relatively equal number of infections and death toll to South Africa. Low-risk travellers originate from countries with lesser number of infections of COVID-19 and death toll than South Africa.

The list of countries and categorisation will be reviewed every two weeks and updated based on the latest WHO figures.

Travellers (leisure, corporate and other) from the African continent as well as from medium- and low-risk countries will be allowed into the country subject to the entry requirements (i.e. screening, visas, testing, quarantine).

Below is the list of countries currently considered high risk, and from which leisure travellers are not allowed (from 19 September):

Argentina

Germany

Peru

Bangladesh

India

Philippines

Belgium

Indonesia

Russia

Brazil

Iran

Spain

Canada

Iraq

United Kingdom

Chile

Italy 

USA

Colombia

Mexico

France

Netherlands

Exceptions will be made for individuals from high-risk countries who are business travellers, holders of critical skills visas, investors and people on international missions in sports, arts, culture and science. 

On 19 October, government also made special allowance for visitors, from any category, who are coming to stay for a three month period or more, subject to COVID-19 protocols. This is in recognition of the many regular visitors from primarily European countries who visit South Africa during our summer season and may own properties in the country.

Furthermore, if the passport of the traveller from a high-risk country indicates that they have spent 10 days or more in a low-risk country before departure, they will be considered to be arriving from a low-risk country and subject to the low-risk entry requirements

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