At the best of times, a foreign holiday is a freedom that many of us can only dream of – and during this pandemic, the playing field has been levelled for jet-setters and frequent travellers alike. Those used to clocking up the air miles have been grounded in devastating fashion, and 13 months after SA’s first day of lockdown, travel options remain limited.
According to Skyscanner’s interactive map, there are only SEVEN countries with ‘low restrictions’ in place against people coming from South Africa – down two (Slovakia and Ukraine) from April. The flight aggregator has collated data from 225 territories across the world, and 97% of them have strict rules that either prohibit or limit travel from SA.
However, this small clutch of nations will allow South Africans in with no quarantine required on arrival. The collective may not read like your typical travel wish-list, but after more than a year of lockdown, who are we to be picky?
Afghanistan’s border officials aren’t particularly bothered about South Africans coming to visit. The Central African Republic, meanwhile, is the only destination on our continent with the minimum set of rules in place. Just two European countries – Albania and North Macedonia – will welcome SA travellers without imposing quarantine rules on them.
But if you like your holiday locations tropical and far-flung, you can still visit Central America or the Pacific Islands: Costa Rica is allowing Saffers in, quarantine-free. The idyllic paradise that is Tonga is also open for business, after it was barely impacted by the spread of the virus. Nauru – one of the least visited countries on Earth – completes the list.