South Africa Eases Covid-19 Travel Restrictions

South Africa Eases Covid-19 Travel Restrictions

The "Red List" falls as President Ramaphosa eases all economic restrictions...

While the national State of Disaster has been extended to December 15 amid a global rise in COVID-19 cases, South Africa’s tourism industry has let out a collective sigh of relief as President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lifting of the so-called ‘red list’ of high risk countries that are not allowed entry into South Africa.

In his address to the nation last night (November 11), Ramaphosa said he expected these measures “would greatly assist businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors”.

CEO of the Tourism Business Council South Africa, Tshifiwa Tshivhengwa – who has been lobbying with other industry stakeholders for the abolishment of the restrictions – welcomed the news in a Facebook post just minutes after the announcement.

“We have worked hard with determination and persistence for the sake of the tourism industry. As the president has just announced, all borders will be open subject to COVID-19 negative certificate for all passengers. No more high-risk list of countries. Let’s all go to work and build the forward book, preserve jobs and do tourism.”

The ever-changing list of high-risk countries had created a lot of uncertainty in the industry with airline associations warning that numerous international airlines were reducing or cancelling their flights and that South Africa could lose its airline hub status if this wasn’t urgently addressed.

Source: Tourism Update

Country Open Status

South Africa

Alert level 1

Re-opening of borders (As updated from Gazette 43897 of 11 November 2020)
Gazetted regulations
The 18 land borders which were partially operational, will be fully operational, and the 34 land borders which were closed, will remain closed.

Traveling to and from the Republic is allowed, subject to sub regulations (3).

All international travel will resume subject to-
(a) the traveler providing a valid certificate of a negative test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel; and
(b) in the event of the traveler’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative test, the traveler will be required to quarantine him or herself at his or her own costs.

International air travel is restricted to the following airports-
(a) OR Tambo International Airport;
(b) King Shaka International Airport; and
(c) Cape Town International Airport.

Daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend or teach at a school in the Republic, and who are allowed entry into and exit from the Republic, subject to compliance with protocols relating to-
(a) screening for COVID-19 and quarantine or isolation, where necessary;
(b) the wearing of a face mask;
(c) transportation; and
(d) sanitisation and social distancing measures as per the relevant health protocols on safety and prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

All commercial seaports will be opened.
Small crafts will be allowed entry into seaports, in-line with health and border law enforcement protocols.

Travelling to South Africa

Travellers intending to visit the country will be expected to produce a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such test.

Upon arrival in the port of entry, the traveller will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms or for contact with people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Travellers will also need to provide proof of accommodation address should they need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country.

Should the traveller display any COVID-19–related symptoms or been in contact with an infected person(s), they will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test. This test will be at the traveller’s cost. If the COVID-19 test comes back positive, the traveller will be subjected to a 10 day quarantine at a designated site. The accommodation at a quarantine site will be at the traveller’s cost.

Botswana

Date of reopening

  • 9 November 2020

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted within 72 hours of departure for Botswana.
  • Undergo health screening for COVID-19 symptoms.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Any visitor showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to undergo a PCR test, and possible isolation and or quarantine for 14 days.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Private charter flights
  • Airlink

Kenya

On 6 July 2020, Kenya announced that local air travel will resume operations from 15 July 2020 and that international travel will resume from 1 August 2020.

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, obtained no later than 96 hours prior to departure from your home country.
  • Body temperatures must test below 37.5°C (99.5°F) and visitors must have no persistent cough, no difficulty breathing, and no other flu-like symptoms.
  • If there is a reported case of COVID-19 on a flight or if the above symptoms are detected, all passengers within two rows of the passenger with the symptoms will be quarantined for testing at designated airport hotels. If the test results are negative, they will be allowed to leave the facility.
  • It is mandatory for all passengers arriving in Kenya to complete the Travelers Health Surveillance Form by the Ministry of Health. The form is found here and must be completed online prior to disembarkation. Passengers will receive a QR code after completing the form and will be required to display it to a Port Health Official to proceed through immigration.
  • Strict infection prevention and control measures have to be followed: social distancing, good hand hygiene, and the wearing of masks remain mandatory.

Mandatory quarantine

  • All passengers arriving on international flights are required to quarantine for 14 days at a government-designated facility or at their Kenyan residence.

*These countries are exempt from mandatory quarantine.*

Countries allowed to travel to the destination

  • All

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Kenyan Airways will resume international flights from 1 August 2020. All in- and outbound passengers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours of boarding.
  • All passengers aboard any Emirates flight require a negative COVID-19 certificate, obtained no later than 96 hours prior to flight departure.

Madagascar

Open for international travel

  • Yes – only the island of Nosy Be

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Present a return air ticket.
  • Provide a negative result for a COVID-19 PCR test, carried out within 72 hours before boarding the flight to Madagascar.
  • Undergo a PCR test upon arrival at the airport, at your own cost.
  • A letter of commitment must be signed, acknowledging the COVID-related health measures in Madagascar.
  • Submit a signed health letter of commitment for the Public Health Ministry.
  • Complete a health form and comply with all airport health procedures like temperature scans and using a disinfectant corridor.
  • Conduct a COVID-19 PCR test at a hotel (at your own expense) 72 hours before departure from Madagascar, if the destination country requires a negative test result.

Mandatory quarantine

  • All visitors are required to self-isolate at a hotel (at their own cost) for a maximum of 48 hours while waiting for the results of the PCR test conducted at the airport.

Countries allowed to travel to the destination

  • All except Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, Russia, Ukraine, USA, India, Brazil, Morocco, Argentina, and Iran.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Ethiopian Airlines

Malawi

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted within 10 days before arrival in Malawi. Any passenger arriving without a negative test result will be denied entry into the country.
  • Complete a health declaration form, undergo basic screening, and requested to self-monitor for any virus symptoms for 14 days.
  • Only passengers and airport staff will be allowed to enter the terminals and are required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing at all times.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Not required.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Kenya Airways
  • Ethiopian Airlines

Mauritius

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted within five days prior to travelling to Mauritius.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Required for 14 days at an establishment approved by authorities.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Air Mauritius should resume flights from 1 October 2020, subject to the opening of borders and the lifting of travel restrictions.
  • Emirates from 3 October 2020.

Mozambique

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result, conducted in your country of origin within 72 hours of departure for Mozambique.
  • Undergo health screening and temperature testing.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Not required.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • All of the main airlines flying from Portugal, Turkey, Qatar, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa.
  • Airlink from South Africa.

Namibia

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted within 72 hours of boarding the flight to Namibia.
  • Undergo health screening and temperature testing.
  • Submit your full trip itinerary.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Not required, unless a traveller’s PCR test is older than 72 hours (but less than seven days) – supervised quarantine of seven days is then required.

Countries allowed to travel to the destination

  • All

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Lufthansa from 19 September 2020
  • Air Namibia
  • Eurowings from 20 September 2020
  • Qatar Airways from 1 October 2020

Rwanda

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Provide a negative COVID-19 test certificate. The only accepted test is a SARS-CoV 2 Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), performed within 120 hours of departure for Rwanda. Other tests such as Rapid Diagnostics Tests (RDT) are not accepted.
  • Complete the Passenger Locator Form and upload your COVID-19 test certificate via www.rbc.gov.rw/travel prior to arrival.
  • If you are visiting any national park in Rwanda, you are required to schedule your visit within 72 hours of receiving a negative PCR test result. If your visit/s are more than 72 hours after the initial test on arrival in Rwanda, you will be required to take another COVID-19 test before visiting the parks.
  • Follow preventive measures while travelling in Rwanda: physical distancing where possible; the wearing of masks is mandatory; and temperature screenings before entering certain buildings are mandatory.
  • All travellers departing from Rwanda must test negative for COVID-19, with the RT-PCR test performed within 120 hours before departure. The Rwanda Development Board has advised that as long as travellers depart within 120 hours of their RT-PCR test on arrival, they do not require another test.

Mandatory quarantine

  • All travellers arriving in Rwanda will be screened upon entry and take a second RT-PCR test to confirm the negative results of the test done prior to arrival. You will be required to wait about 24 hours for these test results in a designated transit hotel. The Government of Rwanda has negotiated special rates at designated transit hotels for the 24-hour waiting period.

Countries allowed to travel to the destination

  • All tourists will be allowed to visit Rwanda’s attractions and destinations after testing negative for COVID-19 in two consecutive tests.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Charter flights (individual and groups)
  • Commercial airlines from 1 August 2020
  • RwandAir between Dubai and selective African routes from 1 August 2020, and between London and Kigali from 3 October 2020.

Seychelles

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate from an accredited laboratory, obtained within 72 hours before departure.
  • Apply for mandatory Health Travel Authorization from the Seychelles via this official government website. Applications must be made up to 72 hours before your departure flight. You will need your passport, PCR COVID-19 test result, itinerary, and your credit or debit card.
  • Undergo temperature checks and health screening. Any visitor with fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose or shortness of breath will be isolated from other travellers and subjected to further assessment. Additionally, visitors may be required to undertake a COVID-19 test upon disembarkation.

Additional health & safety protocols for countries with Special Status

  • Undergo a COVID-19 PCR test no more than 48 hours prior to departure from your country of origin.
  • After arrival in the Seychelles, visitors must stay in a designated establishment and may not leave for five days.
  • A PCR test will be performed on the fifth day. If the test result is negative, travellers may continue with their planned holiday. If the test result is positive, travellers will be required to stay in a designated stay-safe hotel until cleared by the Public Health Authority.
  • See more information here.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Not required.

Countries allowed to travel to the destination

  • The list of permitted countries is revised periodically and available here.
  • A new Visitor Travel Advisory will be implemented on 1 October 2020 for the seven countries with Special Status: UK, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and UAE. Visitors from these countries will be allowed to travel to the Seychelles, but with more stringent sanitary measures as outlined here.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Private jets and direct chartered flights from the above countries.
  • Commercial flights from the above countries from 1 August 2020.

Tanzania

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • If you are travelling with an airline that requires a negative COVID-19 certificate, or if your country of origin requires a negative COVID-19 certificate upon departure, then Tanzania will also request the certificate on arrival. All other travellers do not require a negative COVID-19 certificate, although it is recommended that all travellers have the certificate as a precautionary measure.
  • Arriving passengers showing any symptoms or signs of COVID-19 will be required to undergo enhanced health screening and may be tested for COVID-19.
  • While in Tanzania, visitors will be expected to adhere to full protective measures against the spread of COVID-19.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Not required.

Countries allowed to travel to the destination

  • All

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Air Tanzania could resume operations to other countries that have re-opened for international travel, or for passengers looking to fly with the airline – to be confirmed.

Uganda

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

Arriving passengers:

  • Provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in your country of origin, issued within 72 hours of departure for Uganda.
  • Undergo temperature checks and health screening on arrival.
  • Wear masks, maintain a social distance of 1.5 metres (5 feet) where possible, and practice good personal hygiene.

Departing passengers: 

  • Arrive at the airport at least four hours before their scheduled flights.
  • Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, issued within 120 hours of departing from Uganda.
  • Undergo temperature checks and health screening.
  • Travellers who are not expected to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate in their destination country must ensure they have special clearance from their destination country to board an airplane.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Not required. Passengers who exhibit signs and symptoms of an infectious disease will be transported to an isolation centre for a COVID-19 test. Results will be available within 24 to 48 hours. If foreign nationals test positive for COVID-19 and wish to be repatriated to another facility outside Uganda, they can do so at their own cost and according to COVID-19 medical evacuation protocols.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Turkish Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • Emirates
  • Kenya Airways
  • Ethiopian Airlines

Zambia

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Provide a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test that has been conducted within 14 days of arriving in Zambia.
  • Adhere to COVID-19 regulations like physical distancing, wearing face masks, and personal hygiene. You will also need to monitor yourself daily for 14 days post arrival for symptoms of the virus and report any occurrence to the nearest health facility.
  • Travellers leaving Zambia will only be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test certificate when flying with an airline or to a country that requires said certificate.

Mandatory quarantine

  • All international visitors are screened on arrival. If you show any signs of COVID-19, you will have to quarantine for 14 days.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • RwandAir
  • Kenya Airways
  • Emirates is set to start flying to Zambia from 1 September 2020.
  • Proflight Zambia is operating limited domestic flights.

Zimbabwe

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, obtained from a recognised facility within 48 hours of departure for Zimbabwe.
  • Undergo health screening and temperature testing.
  • Social distancing, hand sanitisation and the wearing of masks are mandatory.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Not required unless travellers show symptoms of the virus or don’t have a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate on arrival – they are then required to stay at a designated isolation facility for 7 days, then self- isolate for another 7 days. A fee of $60 will be levied on travellers tested at ports of entry.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Emirates
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Kenya Airways
  • Air Tanzania

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