Level 1 - FAQs

Terms & Conditions

  • Are suppliers changing their cancellation and booking policies?

    Each supplier (airline, tour operator, etc.) will have its own change and cancellation policies, and many are being more lenient when it comes to deposits or postponements. As a consumer, if you are in a position to postpone rather than cancel, you not only help the supplier and several players along the value chain, but you also keep something to look forward to and don’t have to compromise on your expectations.

    Be sure to read and understand all the terms and conditions of your ticket or booking upfront so that there are no surprises down the line.

  • Outbound Requirements

  • Which countries currently accept South African travellers?

    This information will be constantly in flux as countries update entry requirements based on infection rates and reciprocity. The most reliable and up-to-date information will be found from the source. Here are examples of official websites:

    IATA’s COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map is also regularly updated with restrictions per country. However, it is still best to double-check this information against what is available from official government sources as IATA cannot guarantee total accuracy given the ever-changing nature of the international response to COVID-19.

  • Where can I get tested in South Africa before I travel?

    There are over 200 testing sites across South Africa. Pathcare, Lancet and Ampath all list their testing sites per province along with address, contact information and operating hours. The cost for a Covid-19 test in South Africa is R850 and results generally take 48-72 hours to process depending on patient priority.

  • Is transit through high-risk countries allowed?

    Yes, transit through high-risk countries, where the traveller does not pass through immigration, is allowed, subject to the prescribed entry requirements. The restriction applies to travellers originating from a high-risk country.

    Furthermore, South African citizens and permanent and temporary residents will be allowed to enter South Africa, whether or not they are travelling from or through a high-risk country, subject to the prescribed entry requirements (i.e. valid and negative COVID-19 PCR test result). 

  • Do South Africans require a COVID-19 test prior to departing South Africa?

    South Africans (citizens and residents), as well as foreign national travellers, do not require a COVID-19 test to depart South Africa. However, it may be a requirement of some airlines and countries of destination.

    At the airport, travellers will be screened and anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will be prohibited from boarding. Travellers departing South Africa should also bring with them a completed exit screening questionnaire

    Any additional requirements will be stipulated by the airline and/or country of destination. The airline is responsible to ensure that all passengers comply with the COVID-19 requirements of entry for the country of destination before boarding and will not allow passengers to board who do not meet these requirements.  

    This information will be constantly in flux as countries update entry requirements based on infection rates and reciprocity. The most reliable and up-to-date information will be found from the source (i.e. official government and consular websites).  

    IATA’s COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map is also regularly updated with restrictions per country. However, it is still best to double-check this information against what is available from official government sources as IATA cannot guarantee total accuracy given the ever-changing nature of the international response to COVID-19. 

    Travellers should also be aware that testing may be conducted at some international airports.  

  • What happens if the country in which I’m travelling suddenly moves from low-risk to high-risk?

    Airlines from high-risk countries are not banned. Only leisure travellers coming from high-risk countries are prohibited from entering South Africa. South African citizens, permanent and temporary residents, travellers from Africa, medium- and low-risk countries, and business travellers from high-risk countries (having made an application to the Department of Home Affairs) are permitted to enter South Africa, subject to the prescribed entry requirements.

    Also note that transit through high-risk countries, where the traveller does not pass through immigration, is allowed, subject to the prescribed entry requirements. The restriction applies to travellers originating from a high-risk country.

    According to Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing on 30 September, entry into South Africa will be based on where the traveller’s passport shows they have spent the last 10 days. 

    We are also still awaiting clarity on how travellers can prove they have spent 10 days in a low-risk country in cases where there is not a passport stamp to indicate as such (e.g. passports are not stamped between EU countries).

  • Insurance

  • Do returning South Africans require travel insurance to re-enter South Africa?

    Although it is obviously recommended that South African travellers take out travel insurance, the issue of insurance is currently not gazetted and is therefore not yet law. Moreover, many insurance companies currently don’t have existing insurance that covers the requirements as mentioned by the government in their briefings. 

    It is also our understanding that the requirement to have travel insurance that covers the cost of COVID-19 testing and quarantine applies only to foreign national travellers entering South Africa. South Africans (citizens and residents) who do not have travel insurance with these covers should be permitted to enter the country.

  • How do I pick a travel insurance policy?

    Be sure to check the requirements of your travel destinations as some, like South Africa and Brazil, are requiring that foreign national arrivals have COVID-19 travel insurance. (However, in the case of South Africa, this requirement for travel insurance appeared in Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing on 30 September but has not been gazetted and we are seeking further clarity on this issue.)

    Travel insurance policies will differ based on factors such as your age, the length of your trip, and what you want to be covered. A standard insurance policy may cover cancellation for events such as the sudden bankruptcy of a travel company, unexpected illness, or a natural disaster or unrest in the destination.  

    When looking for travel insurance that covers COVID-19-related events, consider the following: 

    • Travel medical: cover your expenses if you or a travel companion, such as your spouse or child, contract COVID-19 while travelling and require medical care or evacuation. 
    • Trip cancellation: cover any expenses incurred as a result of cancelling your trip prior to departure because you, or someone you care for, contracted COVID-19. 
    • Trip delay: cover any expenses incurred as a result of changing COVID-19 regulations e.g. travel bans. 

    Also note that most travel insurances will not cover disinclination or fear to travel. The exception is ‘cancel for any reason’ (CFAR) insurance. This is usually available as an optional upgrade to a standard travel insurance plan and may cost up to 50% more than a standard plan. It typically needs to be purchased within one to three weeks from the time you booked your trip or made the initial deposit, and you must cancel your travel 48 hours prior to departure. Often available in two tiers, CFAR insurance can cover you for 50-75% of your total travel costs. However, CFAR is not yet a common insurance product in South Africa.  

    Know that there is no-size-fits-all travel insurance plan and each additional cover comes at a cost. Whichever you choose, be sure to read the full insurance contract before buying to check whether it covers specifics like quarantine, testing, and flight disruptions.  

  • Inbound

  • What are the exceptions for travellers from high-risk countries?

    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. Exceptions will also be made for medical and bereavement purposes.

    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.

    People who seek an exception, as above, must apply in writing to the Department of Home Affairs via email request to covid19businesstravel@dha.gov.za and include the following:

    1. A copy of passport and/or temporary residence visa
    2. Proof of (business or other) activities to be undertaken in South Africa
    3. Proof of travel itinerary
    4. Proof of address or accommodation in South Africa

    Due to the high volume of requests, the Department of Home Affairs has increased the capacity of people managing the email account and aim to communicate responses within 24 hours.

    Upon arrival in South Africa, any traveller from a high-risk country will be subject to the prescribed screening procedure and must present documentation of the above application with a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel.

    Individuals wishing to come to South Africa on study, relatives or other long-term visas do not need to apply to this email. They may apply for their visa and submit documents directly to the South African High Commission in their country of residence, as per normal.

  • Which countries have been classified as high-risk?

    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 October):

    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

  • Who requires a visa to enter South Africa?

    Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing on 30 September stated that foreign national arrivals from low- and medium-risk countries will be subject to the prevailing visa requirements.

    The Department of Home Affairs since reinstated the visa exemption status of the citizens of the following countries which had been revoked at the commencement of the COVID-19 lockdown in March: South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, UK, France, Portugal, and Iran.

    This means that nationals of these countries (with the exception of leisure travellers from high-risk countries) are free to visit South Africa, subject to complying with the applicable regulations and health protocols. Airlines may board passport holders of these countries without a visa in line with their visa exemption status before the lockdown period.

  • General

  • Which international ports are open in South Africa?

    Johannesburg’s OR Tambo, Durban’s King Shaka and Cape Town International Airports are the only airports that will allow international air travel to arrive or depart.

    All commercial seaports will be opened.

    The 35 land borders that were closed during the previous lockdown levels will remain closed.

    The 18 land borders which were partially operational during the previous lockdown levels will be fully operational (i.e. allow passage of South Africans and permitted foreign nationals). Additionally, Sani Pass (Lesotho) was reopened on 22 October. Below are the open land borders:

    COUNTRYPORTHOURSCONTACT
    ZimbabweBeitbridge Bridge24 hoursTel & Fax: (015) 530 0070
    EswatiniOshoek07:00–22:00Tel: (017) 882 0138/9
    Fax: (017) 819 3481
    EswatiniMahamba07:00–22:00Tel: (017) 826 0076
    Fax: 017) 826 0077
    EswatiniMananga07:00–18:00Tel: (013) 790 7075
    Fax: (013) 790 0077
    EswatiniGolela07:00–22:00Tel: (034) 435 1070
    Fax: (034) 435 1048
    EswatiniJeppes Reef07:00–20:00Tel: (013) 781 0382
    Fax: (013) 781 0383
    NamibiaNakop24 hoursTel: (054) 571 0008 / 0077
    Fax: (054) 571 0009
    NamibiaVioolsdrift24 hoursTel: (027) 761 8760
    Fax: (027) 761 8931
    MozambiqueLebombo06:00–00:00Tel: (013) 793 7311
    Fax: (013) 793 7091
    LesothoCaledonspoort06:00–22:00Tel: (058) 223 8400
    Fax:( 058) 223 1012
    LesothoFicksburg Bridge24 hoursTel:( 051) 933 2760
    Fax: (051) 933 4540
    LesothoMaseru Bridge24 hoursTel: (051) 924 4300
    Fax: (051) 924 4000
    LesothoQuacha’s Nek06:00–22:00Tel: (039) 256 4391
    Fax: (051) 633 1099
    LesothoVan Rooyens Gate06:00–22:00Tel: (051) 583 1525
    Fax: (051) 583 1530
    LesothoSani Pass06:00–18:00Tel: (033) 702 1169
    Fax: (033) 702 2233
    BotswanaGroblersbrug08:00–22:00Tel: (014) 767 1019
    Fax: (014) 767 1264
    BotswanaKopfontein06:00–24:00Tel: (018) 365 9055
    Fax: (018) 365 9026
    BotswanaRamatlabama06:00–22:00Tel: (018) 390 2533
    Fax: (018) 393 0334
    BotswanaSkilpadshek06:00–24:00 Tel: (018) 366 0011
    Fax: (018) 366 0012

    Compiled from cross-referencing the list of all ports of entry with the list of closed ports

  • Is the Department of Home Affairs open to process travel documents?

    The Department of Home Affairs will resume applications for identity cards or documents and all types of passports. DHA will also resume visa services, including submission of applications through VFS Global in the following categories: 

    • Visitor’s visas
    • Study visas
    • Treaty visas
    • Business visas
    • Crew visas
    • Medical treatment visas
    • Relative visas
    • General work visas
    • Critical skills visas
    • Intra-company transfer visas
    • Retired person visas
    • Corporate visas
    • Exchange visas
    • Waiver of prescribed requirement  
    • Appeal or review against a decision on application for a temporary residence visa 

    Explanation of these visa categories can be found on the Department of Home Affairs websitePlease note that any mention of countries and exemptions on this page are outdated and this should only be used as a resource to gather additional information about the visa category.  

    Visa services, including applications for a visitor’s visa will also be rendered at the South African Missions abroad. 

    The application process for Lesotho Exemption Permits and Zimbabwean Exemption Permits will also resume from 1 October.  

  • Where can I find a list of international embassies and consulates in South Africa?

    Should a foreign national require assistance in South Africa, a list of all foreign representation in South Africa is available on the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s website. Diplomatic missions are listed alphabetically by country name.

  • Where can I find a list of South African embassies and consulates abroad?

    Should a South African or foreign national require assistance abroad (e.g. returning home, visa purposes, etc.), a list of all South African representation abroad is available on the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s website. South African missions abroad are listed alphabetically by the country in which they are located. The individual websites for these embassies, high commissions and consulates abroad are also listed here.

  • Entry Requirements

  • What are the requirements to enter South Africa?

    • All arrivals must present a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, obtained not more than 72 hours (3 days) from the time of departure to South Africa, from an accredited laboratory.
    • All arrivals will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms and/or for contact with people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.  
    • Should the traveller display any COVID-19–related symptoms or have been in contact with an infected person, they will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test. This test will be at the traveller’s cost. If the COVID-19 test comes back positive, the traveller will be subjected to quarantine at a designated site, at the traveller’s cost. 
    • All arrivals must provide proof of accommodation address (or place of residence) should they need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country.* 
    • All arrivals will be asked to download the COVID Alert South Africa mobile app. Information on the app can be found here.*
    • All foreign national arrivals are subject to the prevailing visa requirements. Foreign national arrivals from high-risk countries may enter with an application in compliance with the business travel exemptions laid out by government, in addition to the prevailing visa requirements.
    • All foreign national arrivals must have travel insurance that covers the cost of any testing or quarantine.* 
    • All arrivals will be given an entry screening health questionnaire to complete (either on the plane or at arrival).

    *Note that these points were included in Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing on 30 September, but have not appeared in government gazettes as of yet and we are seeking further clarity and confirmation.

    PLEASE PRINT OUT ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS to present at check-in before boarding your flight to South Africa.

  • Do travellers from Africa have to produce a COVID-19 test on arrival?

    Yes, all travellers from Africa will have to produce a valid certificate from an accredited laboratory of a negative COVID-19 PCR test not older than 72 hours, at all ports of entry. This includes South Africans (re-)entering the country.

    However, the regulations stipulate that business persons providing services across the borders of SADC are allowed multiple entry, provided they can produce a COVID-19 PCR test result not older than 72 hours from the time of departure. This certificate is valid for 14 days.

    This regulation appears to be written for travellers from SADC initially entering South Africa (therefore needing a 72 hour PCR test result on arrival), and then being permitted to depart and re-enter (multiple times) on the same test for up to 14 days.

    However, it should likewise apply for South Africans exiting and re-entering within SADC, for the purposes of business, on the same COVID-19 test (not older than 14 days from the time of departure). It is our understanding that this does not currently apply to leisure travellers within SADC.

    We are seeking further clarity and confirmation all aspects of this issue.

  • What happens if a traveller arrives at a port of entry without a certified negative PCR test?

    In a statement from government, issued on 8 October, the following procedure was outlined for travellers arriving at a port of entry without a certified negative PCR test:

    1. The traveller will be screened for signs and symptoms on arrival.
    2. Upon failure to produce a certified PCR test result, the traveller will be directed to a testing facility at the port of entry.
    3. A staff member from NHLS will conduct an antigen test immediately.
    4. Travellers must be prepared to pay for the antigen test out of pocket (approximately ZAR 150-170) and can claim the fees from their health insurance service provider (pending the relevant insurance agreement).
    5. If the traveller tests negative, they will be allowed to proceed through the port of entry, provided they have been cleared of red flags at the screening phase.
    6. If the traveller tests positive, they will be required to quarantine at a facility designated by that particular port of entry. They will not be permitted to travel across provinces. Contacts of a traveller testing positive at the point of entry, including those who were in proximity of the traveller within the conveyance, will also be tracked and traced.
    7. Travellers who arrive without a certified PCR test and who refuse to test at the port of entry will not be permitted entry and will be required to quarantine at a designated facility.

    It is unlikely that the intention of government is for the antigen test to replace the PCR test certificate, as it appears to be directed more for cross-border travel (e.g. travellers from Lesotho where PCR testing capacity is lacking). Therefore, until otherwise directed, international airlines will still require the PCR test certificate before boarding flights to South Africa.

    We are seeking further clarity on this procedure to ensure that travellers who are safe to enter, are able to do so without unnecessary burden, as well as assessing what this means for overland travel between South Africa and neighbouring countries.

  • What test results are accepted?

    All arrivals to South Africa (South Africans and foreign nationals) must present a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, obtained not more than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. An immunity passport, risk-free certificate, or passport immunity in respect of COVID-19 is not acceptable.

    Although it appeared in Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing on 30 September that the certificate must be signed by the medical practitioner who administered the test, the gazette only stipulates that the test must be from an accredited laboratory and in line with the World Health Organization requirements. The South African Authorities reserve the right to verify the authenticity of presented test certificates.

    Failure to produce a certified PCR test result on arrival will require the traveller to go to a testing facility at the port of entry where they will undergo an antigen test. Antigen tests (different from antibody tests) are immunoassays that detect the presence of a specific viral antigen. The advantage of the antigen test is that it costs about R150-R170, opposed to R850 for the PCR test, and the results are available in 15 minutes. This procedure is outlined in a statement from government, issued on 8 October. We are raising queries about this procedure and its impact on the tourism industry.

    We are also awaiting clarity on the issue of test certificates in a foreign language but it is likely that they will be accepted, as it doesn’t appear anywhere in the regulations that certificates must be in a certain language.

  • Are there exceptions for travel to and from SADC countries?

    The regulations stipulate that business persons providing services across the borders of SADC are allowed multiple entry, provided they can produce a certificate of negative COVID-19 test result not older than 72 hours from the time of departure. This certificate is valid for 14 days.

    This regulation appears to be written for travellers from SADC initially entering SA (therefore needing a 72 hour PCR test on arrival), and then being permitted to depart and re-enter (multiple times) on the same test for up to 14 days. However, it should likewise apply for South Africans exiting and re-entering from SADC on the same COVID-19 test (not older than 14 days from the time of departure).

    It is our understanding that this does not currently apply to leisure travellers within the SADC.

  • Is transit through high-risk countries allowed?

    Yes, transit through high-risk countries, where the traveller does not pass through immigration, is allowed, subject to the prescribed entry requirements. The restriction applies to travellers originating from a high-risk country.

    Furthermore, South African citizens and permanent and temporary residents will be allowed to enter South Africa, whether or not they are travelling from or through a high-risk country, subject to the prescribed entry requirements (i.e. valid and negative COVID-19 PCR test result). 

  • Is entry based on country of citizenship, residence, or where an individual has last visited?

    South African citizens and permanent and temporary residents will be allowed to enter South Africa, whether or not they are travelling from or through a high-risk country, subject to the prescribed entry requirements (i.e. valid and negative COVID-19 PCR test result). 

    Entry into South Africa for foreign nationals is based on where the traveller has spent the previous 10 days.   

    If the passport of a foreign national traveller from a high-risk country indicates that they have spent 10 days or more in a low-risk country before departure to South Africa, they will be considered to be arriving from a low-risk country and subject to the low-risk entry requirements. (Note that this point was announced in Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing on 30 September, but has not appeared in a government gazette as of yet.)

    We are still awaiting clarity on how travellers can prove they have spent 10 days in a low-risk country in cases where there is not a passport stamp to indicate as much (e.g. passports are not stamped between EU countries).

    Also note that transit through high-risk countries, where the traveller does not pass through immigration, is allowed, subject to the prescribed entry requirements. The restriction applies to travellers originating from a high-risk country.

  • Can an arrival self-quarantine upon entry rather than go to a designated quarantine facility?

    We are still awaiting confirmation on this point to clarify under what conditions it is possible for South Africans and foreign nationals to self-quarantine, and whether or not the application for self-quarantine is still required. However, self-quarantine for South Africans should be allowed.

    At the briefing on 30 September, it was stated: Travellers will have to provide proof of accommodation addresses in case they need to self-isolate at the time of arrival in the country. If they show symptoms and indicate that they have a booking in a hotel or accommodation that is of a character that allows for self-isolation, that traveller would be allowed to enter the country, provided they undergo the required quarantine period.

    The character spoken of above refers to the accommodation or place of residence having access to the following:

    • Separate bedroom with an on-suite bathroom and toilet that is not shared with another person
    • Prepared meals to be served in the room preferably in disposable utensils alternatively separated and washed properly. 
    • Support from friends or family that can facilitate the drop off of food and medicine at the gate if they are not able to make use of online shopping facilities and contactless deliveries. 
    • Access to a thermometer that will allow for the monitoring of temperature daily. 
    • Access to the internet either through my phone or computer to allow reporting symptoms daily. 
    • Access to a private physician that he or she can contact should he or she be in need of medical advice or care. 
    • No visitors are permitted to visit the quarantined person.

  • Does the COVID-19 certificate need to be signed by a doctor?

    Although it appeared in Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing on 30 September that the certificate must have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such test, this requirement does not yet appear in a gazette (and is therefore not law). The gazette only stipulates that the test must be from an accredited laboratory and in line with the World Health Organization requirements.

    The gazette further stipulates that South African Authorities reserve the right to verify the authenticity of presented PCR or COVID-19 test certificates.

  • Are temporary residents allowed to enter South Africa from high-risk countries?

    Individuals with valid temporary residence permits will be permitted to enter South Africa, regardless of whether they are travelling from a high-risk country, and provided they meet all other entry requirements.

    It should also be noted that the Department of Home Affairs is extending the validity of legally issued visas which expired during lockdown until 31 January 2021. This pertains to visa holders currently in South Africa who will be allowed to remain in the country under the terms of their visa. From now until 31 January, they will also be able to depart South Africa on an expired visa without being declared ‘undesirable’. However, it is unlikely that they would then be allowed to return to South Africa on the same (expired) visa.

  • Aviation

  • What can I expect when flying to South Africa?

    Passengers flying to South Africa should allow extra time for check-in and screening at the airport. It is the responsibility of the airline to ensure that all passengers have the required documentation and meet the requirements to enter South Africa (as well as any other destination country).

    For flights to South Africa, the airline will check that passengers have a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, obtained not more than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa; a valid visa to enter South Africa, if applicable; and travel insurance for foreign nationals. (Although travel insurance was mentioned by the minister in the recent briefing, it has not been gazetted. Until it appears in a government gazette, it is not law, but airlines may still ask for it nonetheless. We are seeking further clarity on this point.)

    Please print out all required documents to present at check-in before boarding your flight to South Africa to help prevent delays.

    On the plane, all passengers will be given an entry screening health questionnaire to complete. The form asks about passengers’ activities over the previous 14 days.

    As passengers disembark, there will be officers standing by to collect the COVID-19 test certificates. At passport control, the health declaration forms will be collected and the immigration officer will ask to see your passport and visa, if applicable.

  • What airports are open for domestic air travel in South Africa?

    The following airports are open to domestic air travel in South Africa: 

    • Bram Fischer International Airport
    • Cape Town International Airport**
    • East London Airport
    • George Airport
    • Hoedspruit Airport
    • Kimberly Airport
    • King Shaka International Airport**
    • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
    • Lanseria International Airport
    • Margate Airport
    • Mthatha Airport
    • OR Tambo International Airport**
    • Phalaborwa Airport
    • Pietermaritzburg Airport
    • Plettenberg Bay Airport
    • Polokwane Airport
    • Port Elizabeth International Airport
    • Richards Bay Airport
    • Sishen Airport
    • Skukuza Airport
    • Upington International Airport

    **Additionally open to international air travel  

    Passengers should arrive at the airport at least two hours before a domestic flight to ensure enough time is allocated for screening and operational procedures. Only ticket holders will be admitted to the terminal building. Security staff will check tickets and temperatures at the entrance and persons with a temperature higher than 38 degrees will not be permitted to enter. Masks must be worn and social distancing of 1,5 metres must be adhered to at all times in the airport.

    Travellers should complete the domestic screening health questionnaire from the Department of Health prior to their domestic flight.

  • Are domestic airlines operating in South Africa?

    Yes. Cemair, Airlink, FlySafair, and Mango Airlines are all flying domestic routes in South Africa and domestic flights are permitted across all provinces (for all purposes, business and leisure).

    Passengers should arrive at the airport at least two hours before a domestic flight to ensure enough time is allocated for screening and operational procedures. Only ticket holders will be admitted to the terminal building. Security staff will check tickets and temperatures at the entrance and persons with a temperature higher than 38 degrees will not be permitted to enter. Masks must be worn and social distancing of 1,5 metres must be adhered to at all times in the airport.

    Travellers should complete the domestic screening questionnaire from the Department of Health, to be submitted before their flight.

  • Which airlines are operating flights to and from South Africa?

    Each airline will have its own threshold for flying to and from South Africa based on demand for seats—which need to be filled on both inbound and outbound legs. For this reason, we may see that not all airlines immediately begin flying to South Africa. Schedules may remain in flux for some time to come as countries, including South Africa, continuously update their list of permitted countries and entry requirements based on infection rates, which will have an impact demand.

    ASATA will update its website with airline information as and when it becomes available. 

    Specific ticket enquiries will need to be taken up with the respective airline.

  • Will airlines be permitted to land in South Africa from high-risk countries?

    Airlines from high-risk countries will be permitted to land. Airline crew will be required to isolate in facilities at designated accommodation at the cost of their employer. 

    Only leisure travellers coming from high-risk countries are prohibited from entering South Africa. South African citizens, permanent and temporary residents; travellers from Africa, medium- and low-risk countries; and business travellers from high-risk countries are all permitted to enter South Africa, subject to the prescribed entry requirements.

  • Disclaimer: This information is based on our understanding of the Department of Home Affairs Gazette, issued 30 September. ASATA is seeking clarity on several points, including whether returning South African citizens would be required to present a negative COVID-19 test not older than 72 hours from the time of departure in general, or just from high-risk countries; the requirements for returning South African residents; travel insurance requirements and passengers in transit, among others. 

    ASATA provides information as and when we receive it, once the information has been verified.