south africa reopening borders

South Africa is open for tourism but extends State of Disaster until July 15

South Africa is open to tourists from all countries but foreign visitors need to bring a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to their arrival, otherwise, they have to pay to get tested on-site and wait for a negative result. 

Travelers found positive after screenings or testing at the airport will need to go into quarantine for 10 days.

Many countries have suspended travel operations with South Africa and/or travelers who have been to South Africa recently so it can be difficult for foreigners to find a flight back home. Within the country restrictions are being lifted following a descent in the number of cases.

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South Africa Reopening – Latest Updates

South African beach

June 12 – South Africa extended the State of Disaster through July 15

South Africa approved the extension of the national state of disaster through July 15 2021, said acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni at a press conference on Thursday. 

The government has utilized the State of Disaster Act to enforce a variety of lockdown restrictions to contain the spread of the Covid-19 infections.

The latest extension follows an increase in positive patients nationwide. Only on Wednesday, the country reported 8,881 new cases. 

“The extension enables SA to continue with the non-pharmaceutical interventions against Covid-19, whilst also vaccinating the population”.

Source: BusinessTech

May 30 – South Africans will be welcome back to the Seychelles from June 1 

Most countries worldwide have banned tourists from South Africa due to concerns linked to the so-called South African COVID-19 variant that appears to spread more easily than the others. Also, because vaccines might be somewhat less effective against the virus. 

But after a 5-month ban, the Seychelles is ready to accept South African travelers back as part of their economic recovery plan. Visitors are not required to be vaccinated or undergo mandatory quarantine. 

On the other hand, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will not resume flights with South Africa at the beginning of June as it was scheduled. Virgin Atlantic now plans to start flights on 10 June and British Airways on 23 June.

(Source: Business Insider)

April 4 

As of today, South Africa is the most isolated country in the world. Travel from more than 120 countries has been from partially to totally forbidden. Multiple airlines have reportedly refused to accept South African passport holders. 

These massive travel bans have had a devastating impact on the country’s tourism and other industries. And while the world expects to see a country implementing severe restrictions to try to contain the spread of the so called South African variant, the country has instead started to ease restrictions.

For the current holidays, South Africa has decided to ease restrictions on indoor religious gatherings. As of yet, up to 250 people can get together for indoor religious services and up to 500 outdoors.  

March 13

While restrictions tighten outside its borders, South Africa has decided to ease some of the harsher measures imposed to contain the virus. Curfews have been reduced, businesses are reopening and public and private gatherings are allowed again.

Foreign governments will likely continue to extend their travel bans on flights originating in the African country until the variant B.1.351 is no longer a case of concern.

The Government of South Africa is confident that an aggressive vaccination plan and basic biosafety measures will help the nation out of this crisis. 

After a setback in their early vaccination rollouts the country is finally catching up. So far they have reported 138,014 administered doses among their healthcare professionals. Next in line are elderly residents and at-risk individuals. (Source)

What is the current COVID situation in South Africa?

As of June 12, South Africa has reported 1,730,106 positive cases and 57,592 deaths.

Is it safe to visit South Africa during COVID-19?

South African airport

Visiting South Africa during COVID-19 is not recommended. The US government has banned all flights and the CDC has ranked South Africa at a risk level 4, the highest possible. (CDC.gov)

Can American tourists travel to South Africa?

Yes. All visitors are currently welcomed, including American tourists.

Cape Town, South Africa

Tourism in South Africa

The country implemented strong lockdown measures, only to lift them in July 2020, which is believed to be responsible for the country’s surge in COVID-19 cases.

Indeed, many tourism attractions opened immediately after the country’s lockdown was lifted. This includes common outdoor attractions like parks and beaches.

Many tourism-related industries have shifted their focus from international to internal tourism. This has proven to be a somewhat successful effort in some countries, and South Africa is looking to duplicate the success of these nations.

This is being done via the creation of a formal marketing campaign, “It Is Your Country, Enjoy It,” which is geared explicitly towards improving domestic tourism. This is particularly the case for Cape Town, one of the largest international tourist places in the country.