International Travel to and from South Africa

Health & Safety Protocols

Please note that while the information on this page is correct and reliable at the time of publication, it does not represent the most recent changes on travel restrictions and bans. It is the traveller’s sole duty to keep up with the new travel regulations.

International Entry

into South Africa
  • Valid passport and E-Ticket
  • *Visa to enter South Africa (if applicable)
  • All visitors to South Africa must present a negative PCR or Covid-19 test certificate that is no more than 72 hours old from the time of departure from the country of origin. A licensed medical practitioner must administer and sign the examinations. Authorities in South Africa reserve the right to check the validity of test certificates.
  • Passengers and crew entering South Africa via Johannesburg must complete the online Travel Health Questionnaire. You will be given a unique number (look-up ID) that you must present to the Port Health Officers as part of the screening process, as well as any other entry criteria.
  • A PCR test is not required for children under the age of five. To join South Africa, children over the age of five must have a negative PCR test. If your child exhibits positive symptoms or if a parent tests positive while in South Africa, children under the age of six will self-isolate with the parent without the need for a test. On airlines, children under the age of two are not allowed to wear masks.
  • When screened upon arrival, any traveler who experiences Covid-19 symptoms would be allowed to take a Covid-19 test at their own expense. If the test results are positive, travelers will be subjected to a 10-day mandatory quarantine at their own cost.
  • Prior to or upon arrival, all passengers must fill out an Entry Health Screening Form.
  • Upon arrival and departure, all passengers will be screened by Port Health Officials. Those who exhibit symptoms must be quarantined before a COVID-19 examination is performed again.
  • Within the airport or port of entry, all passengers must wear masks at all times. In public areas, children under the age of six do not need to wear face masks.
  • In the event that self-quarantine is needed, travelers must display proof of accommodation or address in South Africa.
  • OR Tambo in Johannesburg, Lanseri Airport in Johannesburg, King Shaka in Durban, Cape Town International Airport, and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Nelspruit are all available for international travel.
  • Long-term visas will be restored, and visa application centers in other countries will be created.
  • The COVID Alert SA mobile app is recommended for travelers.

PLEASE PRINT OUT ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS to present at check-in before boarding your flight to South Africa.

*Please note that certain visas on arrival have been revoked and must be applied for prior to arrival in South Africa. Please check with your nearest SA Embassy.

International From

South Africa

South African flights are operated by the following airlines:

  • Air Austral
  • Air Botswana
  • Air France
  • Airlink
  • Air Seychelles
  • CemAir
  • EgyptAir
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Fastjet
  • Kenya Air
  • LAM
  • Lufthansa
  • Mango Airlines
  • Proflight Zambia
  • Qatar
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Swiss Air Lines
  • Turkish Airlines

Only British and Irish residents, or anyone with a resident visa, are permitted to enter the UK, and they must isolate for 10 days once they arrive at a government-approved facility. Entry to the UK would be refused to those traveling from or via South Africa.

Anyone traveling to or from South Africa within a 14-day period would be refused entry into the United States.

Overland Travel

  • All travelers are welcome to visit South Africa's 20 designated land borders and ports of entry.
  • Scholars and educators from neighboring countries who need to travel daily are free to do so, subject to entry requirements.
  • Face masks are required for all travelers.
  • All travelers are welcome to visit South Africa's 20 designated land borders and ports of entry. Scholars and educators from neighboring countries who need to travel daily are free to do so, subject to entry requirements. Face masks are required for all travelers. Learners and scholars who cross the border on a regular basis do not need to produce a negative PCR test.
  • A PCR test is not required for children under the age of five. To join South Africa, children over the age of five must have a negative PCR test.
  • A completed Entry Health Screen Form must be provided by all travelers (this does not apply to domestic travellers)

Exit Requirements

from South Africa
  • Valid passport and E-Ticket
  • Valid visa for arrival destination (if applicable)
  • Quarantine arrangements upon arrival (if applicable)
  • Any additional documents required for entry into your destination or transit country
  • Face mask
  • Completed Exit Health Form
  • Travel insurance to cover Covid-19 related risks (highly recommended)
  • Always check entry requirements at your arrival destination (visas, PCR tests, any additional requirements).
  • Minor children (under the age of 18) must have an unabridged birth certificate or an equivalent document while going through any South African port of entry. If a child is only accompanied by one parent, a parental consent letter is required, along with a copy of the passport and the absent parent's contact information.
  • A negative PCR test is not needed for departure from South Africa unless the destination country needs it. When passing through certain countries, a negative PCR is needed. Visit Pathcare, Lancet, and Ampath for a list of places to get screened.

The Traveller Health Questionnaire must be completed for all international travel from South Africa before your arrival at the airport. Failure to produce this form may result in denied boarding, resulting in your ticket being non-refundable.

Airport arrival & check-in

  • We suggest arriving at least 2 hours early for domestic flights and 3-4 hours early for international flights.
  • Visitors are allowed to enter the airport.
  • We recommend that you check in online prior to departure (to minimise contact, queues and waiting time).
  • Expect maximum safety protocols to be applied throughout your journey.

Health & safety measures at the airport

• The terminals at OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport are now open to non-travellers and airport visitors.
• Masks, hand sanitisation and physical distancing will be enforced in all terminal buildings, including at retail, food and car-hire outlets.
• All persons entering the terminal building and boarding aircraft are required to wear face masks at all times.
• Temperature screening will be conducted at the terminal building entrances before any passenger is allowed entry, and will be denied access should they have an elevated temperature or present with signs of being infected with COVID-19.
• ACSA will ensure effectiveness of the sanitisation process before entering the terminal buildings, which may result in the number of entrances being reduced.
• All the airports will have markings on the floor for social distancing of 1.5 metres. This will be applicable at check-in counters and security checkpoints.
• Passengers should check in online before going to the airport. Alternatively, online check-in can be done at the self-service kiosks in the terminal building.
• A limited number of check-in counters will be open and physical distancing rules will apply in these queues.
• All airline check-in agents will wear face shields and the counters will be installed with protective screens. Check-in counters will also be frequently sanitised.
• All airport personnel will wear masks.
• Passengers will scan their own paper-based or mobile device-based boarding pass on the scanner at the security checkpoint.
• Passengers are required to remove any metal or electronic items from their person before entering the security queue (including mobile devices, watches, jewellery, wallets, keys) and place them in the tray at the security scanner to minimise the need for physical pat-downs.
• All airline lounges are closed to all passengers.
• At boarding gates, boarding will be staggered and prioritised in terms of the number of passengers to board. Sectional boarding will be implemented to avoid unnecessary contact inside the aircraft.
• Loading capacity for all airport buses must be limited to 70%. These buses must be disinfected after off-loading. Drivers, baggage handlers and ground handlers must be fully equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Courtesy of

See Covid-19 status and travel requirements by country

Disclaimer: Travelstart does not warrant that the information posted is correct. The link should be used as a guide only. Before booking any travel we recommend that you first check the regulations as published in your country of departure and arrival.