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South Africa

Travel to South Africa during Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

At a glance

TRAFFIC LIGHT STATUS: Red

Available to book, open now

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Proof of vaccination:

TBC

Test pre-travel:

YES

Form pre-travel:

YES

Test on arrival:

NO

Screening on arrival:

YES

Quarantine on arrival:

NO

Test during stay:

NO

RETURN REQUIREMENTS

Test pre-return travel:

YES

Test on return:

YES

Quarantine on return:

YES

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Proof of vaccination: This requirement is yet to be confirmed by the destination.
Test pre-travel: PCR Test
PCR Test locations: https://covidtraveladvice.kuoni.co.uk/pcr-test-locations
Test time:
All tourists must present a negative PCR test for COVID-19 on arrival. The test and negative PCR certificate must be issued no more than 3 days (72 hours) prior to departure.
On arrival:

Upon arrival in South Africa, you will need to produce a paper copy of a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 test to border officials. The test must have taken place no more than 72 hours before your departure. It should be conducted by a certified medical practitioner, and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted the test. We advise that you carry several paper copies of your test, as you may need to present it more than once on your journey.

If you do not have a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, you may have to quarantine in a government-appointed quarantine facility, at your own cost.

Form pre-travel: Traveller Health Declaration must be completed 24 hours prior to arrival.
Traveller Health Declaration: https://www.airports.co.za/Documents/ENTRY%20SCREENING%20THQ.pdf
RETURN REQUIREMENTS
Test pre-return travel:

On your return a negative test must be taken in the 3 days (72 hours) before you depart to the UK. You will be required to show your test results before you board the return flight home.

The test must meet the performance standards of above 97% specificity and above 80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies\ml. The test can be a PCR test, a LAMP test or an antigen test, such as a test from a lateral flow device as long as they meet the performance standards

Your test result can be provided as:

  • a printed document
  • an email or text message you can show on your phone - make sure your device is charged

Children under the age of 11 are exempt from this testing prior to returning back to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Test on return:

You will be required to take a test on your return back to the United Kingdom.  The details of which will vary as below, depending on the classification of the country you are arriving from. 

Children, under the age of 4 will be exempt from any testing on return to England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Children under the age of 5 will be exempt from testing on return to Scotland.

Green list countries

If you are arriving into the United Kingdom from a country that is on the green list then you will be required to undergo a further COVID-19 PCR test at your own expense on or before day 2 of your return into the country.  You must ensure that this test is booked before returning to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.  You may need to place the confirmation reference number on your Passenger Locator Form.  This need to be completed and submitted before your departure home.

Should you be arriving into Northern Ireland from either Portugal, Israel or Singapore you will also be asked to take an additional free PCR test on Day 8.

Green watch list countries

If you are arriving into the United Kingdom from a country that is currently on the green watch list, then you will be required to undergo a further COVID-19 PCR test at your own expense on or before day 2 of your return into the country.  Please remember that countries on the green watch list are able to move to the Amber or red lists.  Therefore should the country you are travelling from move before arrival, you will need to follow the guidance below, depending on the new category.  You must ensure that the testing requirements needed are booked before returning to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.  You may need to place the confirmation reference number on your Passenger Locator Form.  This need to be completed and submitted before your departure home.

Amber list countries

if you are arriving into the United Kingdom from a country that is on the Amber list then alongside your self-isolation period at home, you will be required to undergo 2 further COVID-19 PCR tests at your own expense on your return into the country, unless you are returning to England, Scotland or Wales after the 19th July and have been fully vaccinated.  These tests will need to be taken on or before day 2 and on day 8 of your 10 day isolation period.  You may also able to take advantage of the test to release scheme which will allow for a PCR test to be taken on day 5 to release you from isolation.  You must ensure that your 2 tests are booked before returning to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.  You may need to place the confirmation reference number on your Passenger Locator Form.  This needs to be completed and submitted before your departure home.

If you are returning back to England, Scotland or Wales from the 19th July 2021, are fully vaccinated with at least 14 days since your last dose and are able to provide proof of this through a vaccination certificate, then you will be not be required to self-isolate on your return to England, Scotland or Wales.  You will be required to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test at your own expense on or before day 2 of your return, however the test on day 8 will not be needed.  You must ensure that your test is booked before returning as you may need to place the confirmation reference number on your Passenger Locator Form which needs to be submitted before your departure home.  This guidance is currently only applicable for customers returning to England, Scotland and Wales.  Customers returning to Northern Ireland should follow the original advice above.

Red list countries

If you are arriving into the United Kingdom from a country that is on the red list then you will need to ensure you have booked yourself into government approved hotel quarantine for a 10 day period.  You will be required to undergo 2 further COVID-19 PCR tests at your own expense on your return to the country in your quarantine hotel.  These tests will need to be taken on or before day 2 and on day 8 of your 10 day quarantine period.  You must ensure that your hotel quarantine. along with your test package is booked before returning to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.  You will need to place the confirmation reference number on your Passenger Locator Form.  this needs to be completed and submitted before your departure home.

Quarantine on return:

There is a temporary travel ban in place for all arrivals from South Africa.

A suspension of all Travel Corridors for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is in place from 4am 18 January for a period of at least one month. 

The following statements have been issued by the Department for Transport (DfT) and the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales:

Department for Transport (DfT)

All UK travel corridors temporarily suspended to protect against new international variants.

Emergency border measures introduced to prevent the spread of new variants of coronavirus into the UK. 

  • emergency measures introduced at the border to be in place for at least one month in order to protect the UK against new variants.
  • all international arrivals to the UK from any country (including British and Irish Nationals) must now take a pre-departure test and self-isolate for 10 days.
  • passengers must continue to fill in a Passenger Locator Form and have a negative test before travelling to the UK or could face a £500 fine for each.

The statement in full can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/all-uk-travel-corridors-temporarily-suspended-to-protect-against-new-international-variants

Northern Ireland

Travel Corridor Suspended

The UK Government has announced that it is to suspend the travel corridor system until at least 15 February.  This will come into effect from 4am on Monday 18 January.  Travel corridors operate on a four-nation basis and the decision will see Northern Ireland amend regulations to remove the approximately 64 countries, islands and territories remaining on the travel corridor list.

The statement in full can be accessed via this link: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/news/travel-corridor-suspended

Scotland

Travel corridors suspended.

Changes to travel restrictions following new COVID-19 variant. Following identification of a new variant of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Brazil, the Scottish Government will impose additional restrictions on arrivals. From 04:00 on Monday, all country exemptions from self-isolation after international travel will be suspended.

Passengers travelling to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area will be required to isolate for ten days on return. They must also have a valid negative COVID-19 test result, taken no more than three days before the scheduled time of departure.

The statement in full can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.scot/news/travel-corridors-suspended/

Wales

Travel corridors to be suspended as new virus strains emerge. 

The First Minister has tonight confirmed travel corridors will be suspended in Wales to help prevent new mutated strains of coronavirus entering the UK. Travel corridors will be suspended from Monday until at least 15 February – and possibly longer – as all four nations of the UK act together.

The statement in full can be accessed via this link: https://gov.wales/travel-corridors-be-suspended-new-virus-strains-emerge

FURTHER INFORMATION
Foreign Office Advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa
Local regulations:

A face mask must be worn in all public spaces and social distancing must be maintained at all times. 

A national nightly curfew is in place from 9pm to 6am. Other than for an emergency, it is not possible to be outside of or leave your place of residence during the curfew.

The sale of alcohol is currently prohibited.

Beaches, lakes and recreational facilities in ‘hotspot’ locations are closed.  Beaches in non-hotspot areas are open between 9am and 7pm.

Remember to check countries you’re due to transit through as well as your destination.

The Information contained on this page is accurate to the best of our knowledge. It is provided as guidance only and is subject to review and change. Please check with official sources before booking and again regularly prior to travel, as information and requirements can change frequently and with little notice. Please visit the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website at gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or visit gov.uk/travelaware for country-specific information.

Last updated: 30.04.2021 at 17:12