PCR Testing Guide for Travel In and Out of South Africa

The health experts tell us that Covid is likely to be with us for some time and we need to accept that there will be ongoing monitoring at various levels when we are in public places. To date we have adapted speedily and even simple acts like wearing masks while sanitizing hands and contact points have become second nature. 

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For travel to regional and international destinations there are tests and checks to protect all travellers and we need to adapt to this new normal just as we first accepted mask wearing. 

Regional countries may accept a standard PCR test for travel without requiring proof of vaccination while international destinations may require proof of vaccination plus PCR tests. Some European countries now also require a 'pass sanitaire’ which is issued to fully vaccinated travellers to gain access to restaurants, museum and other public venues.  

While some of this may seem onerous, it is mostly simple and needs to be attended to shortly prior to departure and there are numerous points where the tests are conducted. 

All of this is for your own peace of mind and will ensure a carefree holiday. Our world is opening up once more and Thompsons Holidays has a wide selection of holiday packages for domestic travel as well as regional and international destinations. If you are not sure where you can travel at present, give us a call, chat to us on WhatsApp or browse our travel deals for some inspiration.  

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Here are some points to guide you but be aware that regulations may change so keep up to date with your Thompsons travel consultant. 

  • PCR testing is expected on departure and arrival in most countries even for vaccinated travellers. 
  • Some island resorts also offer PCR testing at a private site at the resort 
  • Be sure to cost in your PCR tests into your itinerary – speak to your agent for updated rates and details. 
  • Make sure you have the right PCR test before and during your trip so that you aren’t barred entry due to a technicality. 
  • If a destination requires a vaccination certificate, find out if you need a digital version or a QR code – as your consultant will be able to assist you. 
  • Bear in mind that multi-destination travel may incur more PCR tests and therefore raise your trip costs. 

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday! 

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