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Travel Requirements for South Africa

Travelers Today       By    David Thompson

Updated: Sep 27, 2021 01:00 PM EDT

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Travel Requirements for South Africa

(Photo: Image by BENMANSOUR ZAKARIA from Pixabay )

South Africa welcomes international visitors, subject to health and safety regulations. South African citizens and permanent residents can enter South Africa regardless of where they are traveling from, as long as they meet the entry requirements and traveller Health Questionnaire to enter South Africa.

Entry Requirements for South Africa

International visitors to South Africa must follow these health protocols.

Documents

1.      When you arrive in South Africa, you must show border officials a paper copy of a negative PCR COVID-19 test. The test must have been completed within 72 hours of your departure. It should be performed by a certified medical practitioner and clearly display the name and signature of the practitioner who performed the test, as well as the time the sample was taken.

2.      If you do not have proof of a test when you arrive, you will be required to take a COVID-19 test at your own cost and may be required to quarantine at your own cost. Before entering South Africa, you will be asked to complete a health questionnaire on the plane.

3.      Business travellers providing services across borders between South Africa and the Southern African Development Community are permitted multiple entries as long as they produce a certificate of negative PCR result that is no more than 72 hours old from the time of departure. It should be performed by a certified medical practitioner and clearly mention the name and signature of the practitioner who performed the test, and the time the sample was taken. This certificate has a 14-day validity period. Some land borders restrict entry and exit to South Africa.

Transiting South Africa

It is possible to fly through South Africa to a third country. You must bring a paper copy of a negative PCR COVID-19 test result if you want to transit through South Africa. The test should be completed within 72 hours of departure. It should be performed by a certified medical practitioner and clearly display the name and signature of the practitioner who performed the test, and the time the sample was taken. We recommend that you bring several paper copies of your test with you because you may need to present it more than once during your journey. If you are unable to produce a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, you may be forced to quarantine at your own expense.

Screening upon arrival

Screening procedures for arrivals, departures, and transit passengers have been implemented at all major ports of entry, including airports. You must follow any additional screening procedures imposed by the authorities. Temperature measurements and a check on recent travel to affected areas may be included in additional screening. If you exhibit any COVID-19-related symptoms upon arrival or declare that you have come into contact with an infected person, you will be required to take a COVID-19 test at your own expense. If the COVID-19 test results are positive, you must enter quarantine for ten days at your own expense at a designated site.

Quarantine requirements

If you do not provide a paper copy of a negative PCR test, you will be required to perform an antigen test upon arrival at your own expense. If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days in accordance with government guidelines at your own cost. If you have provided a negative PCR test, you are not required to isolate yourself.

Data collection

When you arrive in South Africa, you must fill out a health declaration form with your information, including your address, contact information, and recent travel history.

Tests on departure

Screening procedures for arrivals, departures, and transit passengers have been implemented at all major ports of entry, including airports. You must follow any additional screening procedures imposed by the authorities. Temperature measurements and a check on recent travel to affected areas may be part of the screening process. You should not attempt to travel if you are ill. If you arrive at the airport with symptoms, you may be sent to a government health facility for quarantine and further testing.

Click here to learn more about South African COVID-19 conditions.

Exit Requirements from South Africa

  •  A valid passport and an E-Ticket
  •  A valid visa for the destination of arrival (if applicable)
  • Arrangements for quarantine upon arrival (if applicable)
  • Any other documentation required for entry into your destination or transit country
  •  Completed exit health form
  • Travel insurance to cover COVID-19-related risks
  • All minor children (those under the age of 18) entering South Africa must have an unabridged birth certificate or an equivalent document. If a child is accompanied by only one parent, a parental consent letter with a copy of the passport and contact information for the absent parent is required.

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