Travel rules for South Africa: can I go on vacation there and which tests do I need?

As of October 11, South Africa was no longer on the UK’s red list for international travel.

This means travelers coming to the UK from South Africa no longer have to be quarantined for 11 nights at a government-appointed hotel at the thousands per person – making a vacation there a much more attractive prospect, in time for winter.

But does South Africa allow British travelers in?

Here’s what we know so far.

Can British comers enter South Africa?

Yes sir. Foreign nationals can visit South Africa for any reason, including tourism.

You will need to bring a hard copy of a negative PCR test result (South African authorities recommend printing out some as you may need to show them at different stages of your trip) taken within 72 hours of your departure from the UK. This is independent of the vaccination status.

“It should be performed by a certified doctor, and it should be clearly marked with the name and signature of the doctor who performed the test and when the sample was taken,” the government guidelines state. UK website.

Failure to provide this will require you to pay for an antigen test at the airport of arrival, and if you test positive you must be quarantined for 10 days at your own expense.

Otherwise, arrivals with a negative test result are free to continue their journey.

You are also required to complete a health questionnaire prior to travel, and there is a thermal exam at South African airports.

Are there flights and vacations to South Africa?

Yes – flights are operated with the major airlines, albeit with a slightly reduced service. Virgin Atlantic, for example, currently has three flights a week to Johannesburg but none to Cape Town, although this may change in the coming months.

British Airways operates several flights a week between London and Johannesburg, but none to Cape Town.

When it comes to package tours and tours, tour operators like Trailfinders have never stopped offering future trips to South Africa for those who wanted to book in advance.

“Trailfinders sends more British visitors to South Africa than any other tour. After it was removed from the red list last Thursday, our inquiries about South Africa immediately increased significantly and the destination was again in our top 10 most popular last week, ”a spokesman told The Independent.

As of October 11, the Foreign Office also removed its recommendation on all but essential trips to the country, so British travelers should have no problem getting valid travel insurance to cover their travels.

How is the Covid situation on site?

South Africa has eased its travel restrictions in the past few weeks.

On September 30, President Ramaphosa announced that the country would move from alert level 2 to level 1 to stimulate economic activity – the night curfew was reduced to midnight to 4 a.m. and alcohol will no longer be sold after 11 p.m.

You must wear a mask in public places and on public transport – refusing to do this is a criminal offense – and the number is limited on buses and trains.

Domestic flights operate within the country and you are currently required to wear a face mask on all flights.

How about a return to the UK?

With South Africa now off the red list and on the symbolic ROW (“Rest of the World”) list, fully vaccinated British travelers only need to book, take and submit a PCR test on the second day of their return for results within the two days after landing.

Unvaccinated travelers or travelers who have only had one vaccination must self-isolate for 10 days upon return and perform an additional PCR test on the eighth day of quarantine.

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