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Can I travel to South Africa right now?


South Africa officially opened its borders to international travel on 1 October 2020. 

This change in restrictions means that you can now visit and enjoy the bountiful and beautiful Cape Town and the Western Cape.

While initially South Africa only allowed partial inbound international travel, the South African government allowed all international travel by 11 November 2020. 

All international travel in and out of South Africa is currently permitted, subject to the presentation of a negative Covid-19 PCR test. The test must have been obtained no more than 72 hours before the date of departure.  (For further information, please read “What are the travel entry requirements” below).

On 23 June 2022, the Minister of Health announced in an official statement that the remaining regulations pertaining to the wearing of masks indoors, limitations on gatherings and the required vaccination proof and negative PCR tests at Ports of Entry have been lifted completely.

All commercial seaports are opened. 

Small crafts will be allowed entry into seaports, subject to health and border law enforcement protocols. 

The prohibition on international leisure passenger ships has been lifted.  




What borders are open to South Africa?

South Africa has opened its borders to all countries based on a Risk-Adjusted Strategy to ensure its citizens and visitors’ health and safety.





What are the travel entry requirements?

Need clarity around what you need to do before entering South Africa and upon arrival at an airport, land or seaport of entry?  Each traveller will need to abide by some restrictions.  





Do I need a visa to enter South Africa?

Right now things may feel a bit confusing with borders opening and closing and entry requirements changing across all countries globally. To help you make sense of how this impacts your trip to South Africa, we have listed some commonly asked questions about visa requirements here.



Vaccinated in the Western Cape and seeking official vaccination certification to travel?

If you were vaccinated in the Western Cape and you need an official vaccination certification letter for exceptional circumstances (additional to vaccination card and SMS), you can follow these steps:

  1. Send an email to with written verification from travel agent/ embassy that it is a travel requirement.
  2. Your travel agent/embassy should also advise if this letter is adequate for the country of travel.
  3. Follow the instructions on the reply-email.

Please note:

  • Only urgent and exceptional circumstances will be considered (travel for work or study purposes, medical or compassionate reasons).
  • Turnaround time is five working days.
  • Non-exceptional applications will not be considered (e.g. leisure travel, lost vaccination cards, back-up to vaccination cards, etc.)
  • This service is only available to persons who were vaccinated in the Western Cape.


The COVID-19 Alert App

The South African Government launched The COVID-19 Alert App which acts as a notification system and not a contact tracing app.  Using bluetooth technology and GPS the app will notify users if they have been close to another user who has tested positive for COVID-19. 






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