Finally, after six long months of one of the toughest lockdowns in the world, South Africa will open its borders to international travellers on 1st October 2020.
Earlier this week, President Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would be moving down to level one, the lowest stage of the country’s five-level lockdown plan, in a bid to revive a struggling economy, and that international would be allowed, but only to select countries. The list of permitted countries is yet to be released but, the tourism sector remains optimistic that business will get back to normal, or as normal as it will ever be, by December, when the summer season officially begins.
Airlines have embraced the news and flights to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban are now readily available from 1st October, with favourable flight prices to attract international travellers to South Africa’s beautiful shores.
Hotels, safari lodges, transport providers, and tour operators are offering discounted rates too. So if like the rest of the world, you are desperate to get away after months of lockdown, the timing couldn’t be better to book your winter holiday to South Africa. But before you do, here’s what you need to know:
Rules For Entering South Africa From 1st October 2020:
- All foreign travellers must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72-hours of their departure. Those testing positive will not be able to travel.
- Upon arrival in Cape Town, Durban, or Johannesburg airport, travellers will be screened (temperature check).
- Anyone exhibiting Coronavirus symptoms on arrival must take a COVID test and, they may have to quarantine for two weeks at their own expense.
- You must wear a face mask in all public spaces
- You must download the South African contact-tracing app
During Your Stay in South Africa
While most hotels, game reserves, beaches, bars, restaurants, and sightseeing activities will be fully operational by 1st October 2020, some restrictions will remain in place:
- You must not leave your accommodation between the hours of midnight and 4 am (curfew)
- You will not be able to buy alcohol from liquor stores on weekends. However, it will still be available for consumption in bars, restaurants, wine farms, hotels etc.
- Cinemas and public facilities may only operate at 50% capacity, so you may have to book tickets for popular attractions well in advance
Things can change quickly in the pandemic-era in which we live, but for now, it’s good news for those of us who love South Africa and cannot wait to return to the country this winter!
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