The government has finally unveiled its new laws for international travel at Level 1. From tomorrow (Thursday 1 October), most international visitors will be able to come to South Africa. However, there are 57 countries on the ‘banned leisure travel list‘ who will not be able to step foot on our shores for non-business reasons.
Travel restrictions at Level 1
The media briefing on Wednesday was led by Naledi Pandor, Aaron Motsoaledi, Jackson Mthembu, and Fikile Mbalula. It was the former who did the bulk of the explaining, outlining how Mzansi would reopen its borders after a six-month shutdown. Nonetheless, confusion reigned when Motsoaledi only read one-half of the banned travel list.
Hiccups aside, Cabinet has now made it clear what’s required from travellers heading in and out of South Africa. In total, there are 10 key restrictions that everyone planning a journey should be aware of:
The complete list of restrictions and new rules for international travel
- Only three airports will be open for international travel: OR Tambo, Cape Town International and King Shaka.
- Travel between South Africa and all African countries is permitted – subject to having the relevant travel documents.
- International travellers will be assessed according to a scale of high, medium and low risk.
- Airport staff reserve the right to screen any traveller landing in South Africa
- No leisure travel from high-risk countries is allowed, either. Only those on high-skilled visas or investors from these places can enter.
- Travellers must provide the address of their stay on arrival.
- All visitors must have travel insurance which gives some protection against COVID-19.
- Those coming into Mzansi must present a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 test from within the past 72 hours.
- Airlines from high-risk countries are not necessarily banned, but their crew will be required to isolate in facilities at designated accommodation.
- Those who test positive for COVID-19 on arrival will be subjected to a 10-day quarantine at a designated site, which they will be required to pay for (it’s advised that travellers find an insurance policy which covers this possibility).