South Africa Travel Regulations During Lockdown - Domestic and International
We've compiled everything you need to know about travel regulations under lockdown, so bookmark this page to stay up to date with the latest breaking news.
Update 28 February 2021: South Africa Returns to Alert Level 1
President Ramaphosa announced in his Sunday night address to the nation that South Africa will be returning to Alert Level 1. Here's what you need to know about the new Level 1 restrictions if you're planning on travelling:
- Curfew has been further relaxed and is now between 12am (midnight) and 4am.
- Restaurants, bars, theatres, casinos and cinemas now have a closing time of 23h00.
- Beaches, rivers, dams, parks and public swimming pools remain open for public access, however, COVID-19 safety protocols should continue to be observed.
- Alcohol sales are now open at full normal trading hours, except for sales during curfew hours.
- Indoor gatherings may not exceed 50% of venue capacity, with up to a maximum of 100 people.
- Outdoor gatherings may also not exceed 50% capacity of the venue, but now allow up to a maximum of 250 people.
- Five airports are now permitted to allow international travel: OR Tambo International, Cape Town International, King Shaka International, Kruger Mpumalanga International and Lanseria.
- It remains compulsory for every person to wear a mask in a public place.
Update 1 February 2021: South Africa’s Level 3 Regulations have eased
Following President Ramaphosa’s address on Monday the 1st of February 2021, South Africa will now be moving into a more relaxed Alert Level 3. Here are the key changes you need to know if you’re wanting to travel:
- Curfew is relaxed and changes to 11pm until 4am. However, restaurants and other non-essential establishments must close by 10pm.
- Beaches, rivers, dams, parks and public swimming pools are now open for public access, however, COVID-19 safety protocols should continue to be observed.
- Alcohol sales for off-site consumption have reopened, and licensed retailers will be able to sell from 10am – 6pm Monday to Thursday.
- Restaurants, bars and taverns will be allowed to sell alcohol from 10am until 10pm throughout the week.
- Wineries, wine farms, micro-breweries and micro-distilleries will be restricted to their usual licensed hours.
- It remains compulsory for every person to wear a mask in a public place.
Update 14 January 2020: South Africa remains on a Lockdown Adjusted Level 3 – what this means:
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Monday the 11th of January stating that South Africa will remain on adjusted Alert Level 3. What does this mean for you and especially those wanting to travel?
- Curfew remains from 9pm but eases at 5am.
- Land borders have closed until the 15th of February 2021; these include Beitbridge, Lebombo, Maseru Bridge, Oshoek, Ficksburg and Kopfontein. Airports are still open and active.
- Funerals are allowed a maximum capacity of 50 people (social distancing, sanitizing and mask-wearing must be adhered to).
- Beaches remain closed.
- Alcohol remains prohibited.
- Most indoor or outdoor gatherings of any kind are not permitted with the exclusion of funerals.
- Travel is still allowed, however please check the travel regulations and procedures for your intended destination.
Update 17 September 2020: South Africa moves to Lockdown Level 1 – International Travel Allowed!
Great news, South Africa! Last night the President announced that South Africa would move to Lockdown Level 1 from midnight on Sunday which means that international travel will be opening up. Bring on the holiday cheer! With easing into level 1, the following regulations have been put in place:
- International travel will resume from the 1st of October 2020, with flights only departing from Cape Town International Airport, King Shaka International and OR Tambo International.
- Travellers will need to have had a Covid-19 test done within 72 hours of departure. If not, travellers will need to quarantine for the required period.
- If you’re driving through land borders to our regional neighbours, you can only access the border posts that have remained open during lockdown.
- If you’re showing symptoms on arrival when screened, you’ll need to quarantine until another test has been taken.
- Travellers are required to install the Covid Alert South Africa mobile app.
We cannot wait to assist you in making your travel dreams a reality. Take a look at our local and international deals for a hassle-free experience as we get ready to travel internationally.
Update 18 August: Inter-Provincial Travel is Open!
With South Africa moving into Lockdown Level 2 this week, it’s open borders – provincial that is – for local leisure travel. This means that travel for any purpose, whether business or leisure is allowed across the country.
So, if you’ve been longing for that bush break in Kruger, a fun weekend away in Sun City or a trip down to the KwaZulu Natal coast, wherever you are in the country, your interprovincial travel getaway is at your fingertips.
It’s time to get planning! We’re got some excellent local travel deals to get that inspiration going.
Update 31 July: Domestic travel is allowed!
Your next holiday away is sooner than you think! Domestic travel regulations have been eased to allow for intra-provincial leisure travel. The new Level 3 leisure travel definition stipulates that you may only travel within your home province, and only stay at accredited accommodation.
Luckily, South Africa has a wealth of destinations to choose from, no matter which province you call home. Here are some ideas for you to spend your first weekend away. Want destinations where social distance is a given? Check out these hidden places in South Africa.
What are you waiting for? Start exploring your own province with these great local deals and book now!
Update 18 June 2020: All the forms you need to travel between provinces in Level 3
If you are planning to travel soon, please note that you will require the following documents (where relevant):
Form 2: Business travel permit for travel by air or road between provinces for work or services permitted under Alert Level 3, and signed by the head of the business.
Form 6: Permit to move residence or to care for an immediate family member, sworn at a police station or Magistrate’s Court;
Form 3: Student travel permit signed by the head of the school or tertiary institution.
Form 4: Permit to attend a funeral.
Form 5: Permit to transport mortal remains.
Form 3: Permit to travel with children.
You are further required to complete a health declaration form, which allows authorities to track and trace suspected cases of COVID-19. You will need two copies (one for the flight there, and one for the return), which you must give to Port Health officials before entering airport terminal buildings.
If you need help arranging your travel plans during this time, please get in touch with us. You can also speak with one of our consultants using the chat function at the bottom of the page. Safe travels!
Update 12 June 2020: Limited international flights open for travel in Level 3:
Government announced on Wednesday 11th June 2020 that some international travel will be allowed from the weekend of 13 June. This will apply to travellers who are returning to their place of work or study outside of South Africa, and for repatriation and evacuation purposes only.
As it stands at 12 June 2020, these are all the travel rules for international travel from South Africa:
- Non-essential travel is not allowed, specifically to high risk countries. These include Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, US and the UK.
- This weekend, flights will be available from South Africa to Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo and Washington. Destinations scheduled for next week include Hanoi and Bangkok.
- Prospective travellers must get travel permission from the Department of Home Affairs. To get this, you must provide the DHA with the following documentation (at least five working days ahead of the intended date of travel):
- A copy of your valid South African passport
- A letter confirming that you have a valid visa or permit, issued by the country where you are heading
- If you are transiting through another country, proof of permission to transit
- Proof of the ticket, and the intended date of departure.
Please note: These are not commercial flights and entail complex logistics arranged through the Department of Home Affairs. Passengers on these flights have to prove their bona-fide requirements and all their documentation, health checks and quarantine and all arrangements must be made between the Department of Home Affairs and the airline directly.
For more information, please visit: https://www.flysaa.com/za/en/repatriation.action
Travel is permitted between provinces in South Africa, under these rules (as of 9 June 2020):
- In Level 3, government regulations allow travel for business purposes, as well as a few other reasons, listed below.
- Travel permits and other paperwork will be required, as listed below.
- Air, road and rail travel are permitted, within the stipulated restrictions.
- Selected airlines have already reopened for limited domestic travel, including CemAir and Airlink. Mango and FlySafair will be resume operations from 15 June.
- Flights may only operate between OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport.
Under Level 3, you may only travel across provincial borders for one of these reasons:
- Moving to a new place of residence.
- Caring for an immediate family member.
- You are a member of parliament performing oversight responsibilities.
- You are a learner or student travelling to schools or institutions (once opened).
- You’re attending a funeral or transporting mortal remains.
- You’re obtaining medical treatment.
- You’re returning to your place of residence from quarantine or isolation.
- Any other movement permitted under regulation 4.
You won’t be allowed to travel without the necessary paperwork, which includes some or all of the following:
- A “Form 2” permit (regulation 16 (2)(b) and 28(4) declaring that your travel is for business reasons.
- A letter on a company letterhead signed by a manager.
- A health declaration.
- An affidavit.
- In other instances, you will need the relevant particulars, for example a death certificate to attend a funeral.
At airports and onboard flights, strict health and safety protocols need to be adhered to, at all times. These include:
- Travelling with the necessary paperwork.
- Limited parking – drop and go is preferable.
- Only those travelling may access the terminal building and will undergo health screening tests upon entering.
- Baggage wrapping is compulsory for all checked luggage.
- A limited number of check-in counters will be open with strict physical distancing rules for queues.
- You will need to wear your mask at all times, including in the airport and onboard your flight.
- You will be required to scan your own paper-based or mobile device-based boarding passes.
- You will need to remove any metal or electronic items from your person before entering the security queue, including mobile devices, watches, jewellery, wallets and keys, to minimise the need for physical pat-downs.
- Boarding the aircraft will be done in phases so that the rows are filled from the back first.
- Onboard, there will be no catering, and no magazines.
- Middle seats will not be blocked out automatically, but airlines will seat passengers in window and aisle seats first.
- Some airlines are offering you the option to pay a small fee to block the middle seat.
Selected accommodation is available
There are some hotels already accepting bookings for business travellers and others planning on opening from mid-June. Hotels will probably request proof that you’re allowed to travel, and you may be required to pay cash.
Need help planning your Level 3 travel? We’re available to assist with bookings, packages and permits. Get in touch today and travel with peace of mind.