South Africa

Where can South Africans travel right now?

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Where can South Africans travel right now? If you’re a  South African wishing to travel during lockdown level 1 here’s everything you need to know.

As of 21 September 2020, South Africa entered into alert level 1 of lockdown, this means that most normal activity has resumed, with precautions and health guidelines followed at all times.

On 1 October 2020, South African reopened its borders for business and leisure travel for international travelers subject to a number of restrictions for travelers. The South African government also published a list of nationalities who can visit South Africa right now.

Before we get to the list of countries, let’s clear the air about something else:

South Africans are free to travel to any country that currently allows travelers from the country to visit.

Are South Africans Allowed To Travel Right Now?

Yes, South Africans are allowed to travel. In fact, Flights to South Africa have been allowed since 19 April 2020 and South Africans have been allowed to leave the country for the past several months.

At first, South African borders were only open to returning citizens, and persons with South African residency or work permits. 

As of 1 October 2020, South African borders are open to leisure travelers too!

Things to know before traveling internationally

  • All countries require tourists to have a valid travel insurance policy.
  • Most countries have an official app they use to send out information and tourists will need to download and register. Like the COVID-19 DXB app in Dubai or the South African COVID App.
  • Tourists will need to fill the ‘Health Declaration Form’ before embarking.
  • Tourists must do a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test with a maximum validity of at least four days (96 hours) ahead of the date of departure. You need to show proof of not being infected with the virus upon arrival at the airport. This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such a test.
  • All arrivals will be subject to thermal screenings. They are also subject to additional test if suspected to be COVID-19 positive.
  • If you test positive on arrival, you will have to isolate yourself at an institutional facility provided by the government for at least 14 days at your own expense.
  • International tourists possessing COVID-19 negative certification will be exempted from having to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

Countries allowed to travel to South Africa right now

Last Updated: 1 October 2020

Where can South Africans travel right now?

African Countries Allowed to travel to South Africa Right now

Travelers from all African countries are allowed to travel to South Africa and must possess relevant travel documents, and will also be screened for Covid-19 symptoms.

To allow ease of travel from the African countries, 18 borders will be opened. 35 border posts will continue to offer restricted services due to insufficient capacity for screening, testing, and quarantine. Travelers who present themselves at borders that are unable to accommodate them will be directed to the currently operational border posts for processing.

Daily commuters who reside in cross-border areas/towns and those who are from neighboring countries including those with relevant work permits and school children and teachers will be allowed to enter and exit the borders for work purposes.

Asian Countries Allowed to travel to South Africa Right now

The passport holders from the countries highlighted in red are allowed to visit South Africa right now.

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Armenia
  3. Azerbaijan
  4. Bahrain
  5. Bangladesh
  6. Bhutan
  7. Brunei
  8. Cambodia
  9. China
  10. Cyprus
  11. Georgia
  12. India
  13. Indonesia
  14. Iran
  15. Iraq
  16. Israel
  17. Japan
  18. Jordan
  19. Kazakhstan
  20. Kuwait
  21. Kyrgyzstan
  22. Laos
  23. Lebanon
  24. Malaysia
  25. Maldives
  26. Mongolia
  27. Myanmar (formerly Burma)
  28. Nepal
  29. North Korea
  30. Oman
  31. Pakistan
  32. Palestine
  33. Philippines
  34. Qatar
  35. Russia
  36. Saudi Arabia
  37. Singapore
  38. South Korea
  39. Sri Lanka
  40. Syria
  41. Taiwan
  42. Tajikistan
  43. Thailand
  44. Timor-Leste
  45. Turkey
  46. Turkmenistan
  47. United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  48. Uzbekistan
  49. Vietnam
  50. Yemen

European Countries Allowed to travel to South Africa Right now

The passport holders from the countries highlighted in red are allowed to visit South Africa right now.

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia (formerly Macedonia)
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • Vatican City (Holy See)

North American Countries Allowed to travel to South Africa Right now

The passport holders from the countries highlighted in red are allowed to visit South Africa right now.

  1. USA
  2. Canada
  3. Mexico
  4. Guatemala
  5. Belize
  6. Honduras
  7. El Salvador
  8. Nicaragua
  9. Costa Rica
  10. Panama
  11. Bahamas
  12. Cuba
  13. Jamaica
  14. Haiti
  15. Dominican Republic
  16. St. Kitts and Nevis
  17. Antigua and Barbuda
  18. Dominica
  19. St. Lucia
  20. Barbados
  21. St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  22. Grenada
  23. Trinidad and Tobago

South American Countries Allowed to travel to South Africa Right Now

The passport holders from the countries highlighted in red are allowed to visit South Africa right now.

  1. Argentina
  2. Bolivia
  3. Brazil
  4. Chile
  5. Colombia
  6. Ecuador
  7. Guyana
  8. Paraguay
  9. Peru
  10. Suriname
  11. Uruguay
  12. Venezuela

South African Airports Open for International Travel

International air travel to and from South Africa will be restricted to the following airports:

  • OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
  • King Shaka International Airport in Durban.
  • Cape Town International Airport

Where Can South Africans Travel Internationally Right Now?

South Africans should also ensure they have enough funds to pay for accommodation should the country they plan on visiting requires you to quarantine. Its also highly recommend getting a travel insurance policy in place that covers COVID!

Here is the full list of countries currently open to receiving South African tourists.

Where South Africans can travel now in Africa

Where can South Africans travel right now?

South Africans can travel to the countries highlighted in Orange. Please note that this list is updated on a regular basis and you need to double-check with the embassy of your intended destination.

Last Updated: 1 October 2020

  1. Algeria
  2. Angola
  3. Benin
  4. Botswana
  5. Burkina Faso
  6. Burundi
  7. Cabo Verde
  8. Cameroon
  9. Central African Republic (CAR)
  10. Chad
  11. Comoros
  12. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
  13. Congo, (Republic)
  14. Cote d’Ivoire
  15. Djibouti
  16. Egypt
  17. Equatorial Guinea
  18. Eritrea
  19. Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
  20. Ethiopia
  21. Gabon
  22. Gambia
  23. Ghana
  24. Guinea
  25. Guinea-Bissau
  26. Kenya
  27. Lesotho
  28. Liberia
  29. Libya
  30. Madagascar
  31. Malawi
  32. Mali
  33. Mauritania
  34. Mauritius
  35. Morocco
  36. Mozambique
  37. Namibia
  38. Niger
  39. Nigeria
  40. Rwanda
  41. Sao Tome and Principe
  42. Senegal
  43. Seychelles
  44. Sierra Leone
  45. Somalia
  46. South Sudan
  47. Sudan
  48. Tanzania
  49. Togo
  50. Tunisia
  51. Uganda
  52. Zambia
  53. Zimbabwe

Where South Africans can travel now in Asia

South Africans can travel to the countries highlighted in Orange.

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Armenia
  3. Azerbaijan
  4. Bahrain
  5. Bangladesh
  6. Bhutan
  7. Brunei
  8. Cambodia
  9. China
  10. Cyprus
  11. Georgia
  12. India
  13. Indonesia
  14. Iran
  15. Iraq
  16. Israel
  17. Japan
  18. Jordan
  19. Kazakhstan
  20. Kuwait
  21. Kyrgyzstan
  22. Laos
  23. Lebanon
  24. Malaysia
  25. Maldives
  26. Mongolia
  27. Myanmar (formerly Burma)
  28. Nepal
  29. North Korea
  30. Oman
  31. Pakistan
  32. Palestine
  33. Philippines
  34. Qatar
  35. Russia
  36. Saudi Arabia
  37. Singapore
  38. South Korea
  39. Sri Lanka
  40. Syria
  41. Taiwan
  42. Tajikistan
  43. Thailand
  44. Timor-Leste
  45. Turkey
  46. Turkmenistan
  47. United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  48. Uzbekistan
  49. Vietnam
  50. Yemen

Where South Africans can travel now in Europe

On June 30th, The European Union published the list of approved ‘safe’ countries that will be allowed to travel to the European Union for the purpose of tourism starting on July 1st, 2020. The list is reviewed every two weeks.

The press release made by the EU was only a recommendation. Each country was given the freedom to make their own travel restrictions based on the recommendation. 

Here’s a list of countries in Europe that South Africans can travel to right now. (Highlighted in Orange).

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia (formerly Macedonia)
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland – Full list of countries that can visit Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • Vatican City (Holy See)

Travel Insurance for South Africans

If you plan on traveling soon, please make sure you are covered for theft and medical expenses. It’s best to have peace of mind while driving, hiking, and trying some of the best food around the world.

Find out why I recommend World Nomads, check out my World Nomads Insurance Review.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a booking after clicking on a link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you!

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