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South Africa is now welcoming all international visitors

Travellers of all nationalities are now allowed into the country – as long as they bring a negative test result

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

For more than half a year, South Africa’s tourism industry was at an almost complete standstill. Hotels were closed, attractions shuttered and most flights grounded.

As countries gradually start lifting lockdown restrictions around the world, many of the most popular destinations have been reopening borders in an effort to reboot their struggling visitor economies. And as of October, South Africa joined them: despite suggestions that the country wouldn’t reopen to international visitors until 2021, it has in fact already started welcoming tourists from all over the world.

To start with, only those from certain countries considered ‘low risk’ were allowed in, but as of November 11, travellers of all nationalities can now visit South Africa. All visitors will be required to have travel insurance, and to present a negative test result from within 72 hours of arrival.

Recent reports had suggested that the country might not open to international travellers until spring 2021, though industry groups in the country, led by The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), had been lobbying for the government to reopen the country to all tourists as early as September.

The country’s total reopening will be welcome news for them, as well as anyone who had a Table Mountain hike or Kruger National Park safari on their travel wishlist for early 2021. 

Remember, many countries are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about travelling.

Where can you travel right now? Here’s what you need to know.

How safe is flying right now? We asked an expert.

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