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Can I travel to South Africa right now?
Cape Cycle Routes
Oct 8, 2020

Can I travel to South Africa right now?

After nearly six months of strict lockdown, South Africa officially began opening its borders to international travel on the 1st of October 2020. This change in restrictions means that you may now be able to visit and enjoy the bountiful and beautiful Cape Town and the Western Cape.

While initially South Africa only allowed partial inbound international travel, the resumption of all international travel was announced on 11 November 2020.

The change in regulations allows all international travel to and from South Africa subject to the following:

  • All travellers need to provide a valid certificate of a negative Covid-19 test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel, and
  • In the event of the traveller’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative test, the traveller will be required to quarantine at their own cost.

International air travel is restricted to the following airports –

  • OR Tambo International Airport;
  • King Shaka International Airport; and
  • Cape Town International Airport.


All commercial seaports will be opened.

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

Passenger ships for international leisure purposes remain prohibited.


What informed the decision to open South Africa’s borders to international travel?

The South Africa Government has adopted the Risk-Adjusted Strategy, which looks at the gradual reopening of borders and points of entry for business, leisure and other travel guided by the communique published by the World Health Organisation. The government has also taken into consideration the epidemiological and transmission rates both in South Africa and the traveller’s countries of origin. This gradual reopening is ensuring the safety of our citizens and our visitors.


What borders are open to South Africa?

Yes, South Africa has opened its borders to certain countries based on a Risk-Adjusted Strategy to ensure the health and safety of its citizens and visitors. Each fortnight the list of countries on the high-risk list is adjusted.



What are the travel entry requirements?

Need clarity around what you need to be 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 or special permission 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.



The COVID-19 Alert App

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