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Level 3 Regulations

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The Ministers of Tourism and Transport have weighed in on Level 3 regulations which come into effect on 1 June 2020.

Based on the Covid-19 epidemic expected trajectory, the first phase of the recovery for the sector will be driven by domestic tourism, followed by regional tourism and international tourism next year.

Although we will be gradually opening up the sector in the coming months, depending on how the virus is spreading, we expect that the sector will only fully recover towards the end of this year.

However, there is a commitment by government, led by the President and the private sector, to work towards getting more tourism activities into enhanced level 3 or level 3 reloaded.

This means that Tourism still has an opportunity for opening up more subsectors at level 3.


  • Movement of persons between provinces, metropolitan areas and districts and hotspots is prohibited, except for:
    • Persons doing so in the course of carrying out work responsibilities or performing any service permitted under Alert Level 3, provided that such a person is in possession of a permit issued by the employer which corresponds with Form 2 of Annexure A.
    • Provided in possession of an affidavit which corresponds with Form 6 of Annexure A, Persons travelling for purposes of:
      • Moving to a new place of residence or
      • Caring for an immediate family member
    • Members of Parliament performing oversight responsibilities
    • Learners or students who have to commute to and from schools or institutions of higher learning during periods when those are permitted to operate
    • Attendance of funerals
    • Transportation of mortal remains
    • Obtaining medical treatment
    • Persons returning to their place of residence from a quarantine or isolation facility
  • Movement of persons across borders is allowed for:
    • Humanitarian operations, repatriations, evacuations, medical emergencies, movement of staff of diplomatic and international organisations.
    • Entry into or exit from may be authorised for:
      • Emergency medical attention for a life-threatening condition
      • The evacuation of a South African national or permanent resident to South Africa
      • The repatriation of a foreign national to his or her country of nationality of permanent resident
      • The return of a South African national or permanent resident to his or her place of employment, study or residence, outside South Africa
      • Daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend school in South Africa
    • A foreign tourist who arrived in South Africa prior to the period of lockdown, which ended on 30 April 2020 and who remained in South Africa:
      • Must remain in his or her place of temporary residence until otherwise determined by the Minister for International Relations and Cooperation
      • May be subject to screening for COVID-19 and be quarantined or isolated.
    • The evacuation of foreign tourists may be allowed where arrangements, including an arrangement for evacuation by air charter, have been made by the relevant embassy: Provided that a tourist who is escorted to the point of exit may be screened again.


  • All international passenger flights prohibited except flights authorised by Minister of Transport for repatriation of South African nationals from foreign countries and evacuation of foreign nationals from South Africa.
  • Commercial domestic passenger flights may resume on 1 June subject to:
    • Domestic passenger air travel not permitted for recreational, leisure or tourism purposes.
    • Flights only permitted to use Cape Town International, King Shaka International, OR Tambo International and Lanseria airports.
    • Lanseria will only open once the availability of Port Health Officers has been confirmed.
    • The next phase of airport openings will see Kruger Mpumalanga, Polokwane and Bram Fischer International Airports open, followed by Kimberley, Upington, East London, Umtata, Port Elizabeth and George.


  • Only crew, airport employees, diplomatic agents and passengers are allowed in the terminal building.
  • Drop off and pick up only permitted outside the terminal building.
  • Anyone entering the terminal building and boarding aircraft must wear a face mask and be subject to COVID-19 control measures.
  • Passengers will be screened before entering the terminal building and will be denied access should they have an elevated temperature or display symptoms.
  • Passengers required to provide written authorisation or proof of travel, confirming the reasons consistent with direction  5 (1) (b) (i).
  • Failure to produce such written authorisation or proof of travel will mean the passenger is automatically denied travel.


The following remain closed to the public and all gatherings at these places or premises are prohibited:

  • Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities and resorts and guest houses, except when these facilities are required for accommodation by:
    • Remaining tourists confined to such facilities
    • Persons for work purpose
    • Persons in quarantine or isolation
  • Private and public game reserves except when these facilities are required for accommodation by:
    • Remaining tourists confined to such facilities
  • Private homes for paid leisure accommodation
  • Conference facilities
  • On-consumption premises, including bars
  • Museums
  • Beaches and public parks
  • Tourist attractions, except for private self-drive excursion activities

The following is open to the public:

  • Restaurants for delivery or collection of food. Restaurants with liquor licences are allowed to sell alcohol only for takeout and delivery.
  • Professional services, e.g. tourist guides, tour operators, travel agents, tourism information officers are allowed to come back to operations.
  • Public and private game farms have been opened for self-drive excursions
  • Hiking to be done in compliance with existing guidelines and not in groups
  • Accommodation activities are allowed, except for leisure
  • Hunting and Gaming activities are also allowed
  • Car Rental comes back to full operations


Important to note that accommodation establishments no longer require a letter from Minister of Tourism to operate. They are required to ensure that they accommodate those in the permitted services and keep records for inspections by the department.

The accommodation establishment has to be able to be accountable, as an owner of the facility when inspection comes.  The Department of Tourism will be conducting inspections.

​Accommodation establishments will have to abide by guidelines and protocols that the NDT will be issuing.


Private and public industries, businesses and entities must:

  • Designate a COVID-19 compliance officer who must oversee:
    • The implementation of the plan for a phased-in return of their employees to the workplace, prior to reopening the workplace for business
    • Adherence to the standards of hygiene and health protocols relating to COVID-19 at the workplace
  • Develop a plan which must correspond to Annexure E  and must be retained for inspection, including:
    • Which employees are permitted to work
    • What the plans are for the phased-in return of their employees to the workplace are
    • What health protocols are in place to protect employees from COVID-19
    • The details of the COVID-19 compliance officer
  • Phase in the return of employees to work to manage the return of employees from other provinces, metropolitan areas and districts
  • Develop measures to ensure that the workplace meets the standards of health protocols, adequate space for employees and social distancing measures for the public and service providers:
    • A distance of at least one and a half metres from each other
    • All directions in respect of health protocols and social distancing measures are adhered to
    • Designate a compliance officer to ensure that safety controls are strictly adhered to and display the name of the compliance officer prominently in a visible area


  • An additional financial relief mechanism will be extended to tour guides to the tune of R30 million over a period of two to three months. The beneficiaries of this scheme will include:
    • Tour guides who are registered with the registrar in terms of the Tourism Act,
    • Tour guides who are not employed by any company, and those that have not formed their own companies which means that they are freelancers or independent contractors without job security.

Click here to download:

  • Department of Transport Regulations
  • Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Regulations
  • Minister of Tourism Speech
The impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry is unprecedented and unpredictable. The nature of the content that is being shared on the ASATA coronavirus microsite is therefore constantly changing. Please check the date of the post to ascertain its recency.
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