Published on the 30 November 2020. 

Updated 22 December 2020.

Information about the coronavirus pandemic changes rapidly. For the latest information please visit the Covid-19 section of the website or use the live chat our website to ask any question you may have. 

South Africa is open for travellers from around the world! We understand that there may be some anxiety around travelling—so we’ve put together a list of everything travellers need to know when visiting Cape Town during this time.

Entering the Country

Travellers intending to visit the country will be expected to produce a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such test.

Upon arrival at the port of entry, the traveller will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms or for contact with people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Travellers will also need to provide proof of accommodation address should they need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country.

Should the traveller display any COVID-19–related symptoms or been in contact with an infected person(s), they will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test. This test will be at the traveller’s cost. If the COVID-19 test comes back positive, the traveller will be subjected to a 10 day quarantine at a designated site. The accommodation at a quarantine site will be at the traveller’s cost.

Face Masks and Social Distancing

All people in South Africa:

(a) must, when in a public place, wear a face mask, except when undertaking vigorous exercise; and
(b) may not be allowed to be in a public place, use any form of public transport, or enter a public building, place or premises, if that person is not wearing a face mask.

Every person, when attending a gathering and in order to limit exposure to COVID-19 must:

(a) wear a face mask;
(b) adhere to all health protocols;
(c) maintain a distance of least one-and-a half metres from each other.

Restrictions

The following restrictions will remain intact to prevent the spread of the virus:

The number of people allowed in a public space remains limited to 50% of its normal capacity.
Gatherings are limited 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors.
The curfew remains in place from 12am until 4am

Healthcare

Cape Town has excellent healthcare facilities that are very well equipped to deal with any health issues you may have while visiting. There are many places you can get tested for Covid-19, including Dis-chem, a local chain of pharmacies.

If you need to contact your embassy

Here is a list of telephone numbers for embassies in South Africa.

Country Telephone
Angola 021-425 8700
Austria 012 423 6200
Belgium 021-419 4690/1
Bulgaria 021 556 0086 / 012 342 3720
Brazil 021-421 4040
Canada 021-945 4960
China 021-674 0988
Chile 021-554 3241
Colombia 072-1814-735
Cyprus 021-466 5225
Estonia 082-550 6363
Finland 021 700 2800
France 021-423 1575
Georgia 082 575 8888 / 012 346 1831
Germany 021 405 3000
Embassy website
Ghana 021-671 6199
Greece 021-424 8160/1
Guatemala 082-966-1130
Hungary 021-886 8855
India 021-419 8110
Indonesia 021 761 7015
Italy 021-487 3900
Lithuania 021-439 9030
Japan 021-425 1695
Madagascar 021-674 7238
Malta 082 906 2000 / 021 911 0631
Maldives 021-650 2076
Mauritius 021-438 8151
Mozambique 021-418 2131/2
Namibia 021-419 2810
Netherlands 021-421 5660
Norway 021-2008199
Paraguay 082-446 6631
Peru 082-444-9716
Philippines 021-433 2270
Portugal 021-418 0080/81
Romania 021-761 1781
Russia 021-418 3656
Seychelles 021-713 1583
Slovakia 021-715 8833
Slovenia 021 976 2248
Spain 021-422 2415
Sri Lanka 021-839 2921
Sudan 021-418 1347
Sweden 021-2008199
Switzerland 021-400 7500
Turkey 021-788 7069
United Kingdom 021-405 2400
USA 021-702 7300
Vanuatu 021-434 6517
Zimbabwe 021-461 1994/5

Contact your travel agent or airline

If you need to leave South Africa immediately but your flight is for a later date, contact your travel agent or airline to find out how to change your flights.

Emirates: 0861 040503

Turkish Airlines: 0860 666 828

Qatar Airways: +27 11 267 7700

SAA: 0861 359 722

Ethiopian Airlines:  +27 21 879 1520

British Airways: +27 21 936 9000

South Africans abroad

Several countries have imposed travel bans on South Africa after a new, potentially more infectious SARS-CoV-2 mutation was confirmed, according to Business Insider SA.

Israel, Turkey, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Mauritius, The Netherlands, and Panama have so far closed their borders to South Africans. With flights suspended to South Africa, it may be challenging for citizens to make their way home. We encourage you to contact your South African embassy if you’re in this situation.
South African embassies’ contact details:
Israel: (+972) 3 525 2566
Turkey: (+90) 312 405 6861
Germany: (+49) 89 231 163 0
Saudi Arabia: (+966) 11 422 9716
Switzerland: (+41)0 79 652 56 85
Mauritius: (+230) 212 6925 or (+230) 212 6926
The Netherlands: (+31) 70 392 4501
Panama: (+507) 302 2750 or (+507) 226 2559

Get tested

Did you enter South Africa after mid-February 2020? Government recommends you present yourself for testing. Please call the National Coronavirus Hotline (0800 029 999) to find out how to get tested.