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When will international travel start in SA again?

By May 28, 2021December 21st, 2022Newsletter

When will international travel start in SA again?

May 28, 2021


When the 501Y.V2 variant of COVID hit the scene, it seemed as if all countries turned their backs and closed their doors on South Africa. Travel to and from South Africa became almost taboo. Now that the restrictions are easing within the country, all eyes are on the government to learn when we can start trotting the globe once more or expecting visits from our loved ones overseas. Well, it must be stated that travel to and from South Africa is allowed as long as protocols are observed. Of course, international travel is greatly reduced.

The good news is that South African Tourism has been strategizing and recently published its “Road to Recovery Report.” The report provides insight into how the country plans to reopen the tourism sector and when international travel will be what it used to be.

Some might think that the detection of the 501Y.V2 variant has put South Africa on the backfoot, but on the contrary, it may have been the best thing to happen. Now that the variant is out in the open, labs have started focusing on it, and treatment plans are well underway. This may spur on South Africa’s success in overcoming the virus and, of course, the damage it has caused to the economy.


South Africa international travel update

Can you travel to South Africa right now? Well, according to South Africa international travel restrictions, international travel is available subject to certain health and safety protocols. That said, even though the country’s treatment plan is on the way, some countries are still closed for travel to and from South Africa. And the surprising news is that SA Tourism predicts international travel as we know it only resuming 12 months from now.

Of course, this all depends on the vaccine rollout in the country. Consumer trust in international travel to and from South Africa is expected to increase when the general population is vaccinated.  As South Africa and other countries reach a more appropriate vaccination threshold, international travel should resume. It’s all about that vaccine!

With only 0.6% of the population vaccinated by the first week of May, it looks as though the country’s aim to vaccinate 67% of the population may only happen towards the end of 2022. The number of already vaccinated in the country is a mere blip in the ocean! Especially when you consider that only 350,000 people have been vaccinated, and the population is 58 million people strong!

There’s also a slim chance that people will want to travel to South Africa as many countries imposed new re-entry regulations for travelers having spent time in South Africa. Fear of being denied entry back into their own country or having to go through strict quarantine measures may be offputting for many people.


Can I travel to South Africa right now from my country?

You might be wondering: Is it safe to go to South Africa right now? And with the South Africa travel ban update in mind, it appears that travel to South Africa is allowed as long as the health and safety protocols are in place. Let’s take a look at each of the major regions that travel to South Africa.


  • Europe

The United Kingdom currently has very low new infection rates although the country is still at risk. The UK is also ahead in terms of vaccination rollout, meaning that the country will reach herd immunity by the end of August 2021. While travel will be allowed in the UK and other European countries, it looks as though SA’s slow rollout and the fact that other countries may impose re-entry restrictions on travelers from South Africa may deter travel to SA within the next year. The current travel update from the UK is that only British and Irish citizens are allowed to enter the UK and must isolate on arrival for ten days. Travelers from South Africa or traveling through South Africa will be denied entry.


  • United States of America

Even as the pandemic has raged, the United States has kept its country running as smoothly as possible. Much like Europe, the country should reach herd immunity by around August/September 2021. Travel to and from South Africa seems likely as the government hasn’t imposed re-entry restrictions on those traveling to the country. Instead, passengers from SA will merely require screening on re-entry. The latest USA update is that anyone traveling from or through South Africa in a 14 day period will be denied entry into the States.


  • Africa

Even though African countries are experiencing slow vaccine rollouts, travel between African countries will likely be up and running soon.


South Africa international travel restrictions

While international travel is allowed, there are strict protocols for people arriving in South Africa from foreign countries. The regulations are as follows. Travelers from abroad must:

  • Have a valid ticket, passport, and visa.
  • Present a COVID negative test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. A certified medical practitioner must validate tests.
  • Fill in the digital Travel Health Questionnaire – which can be found here. This will result in being provided with a look-up ID number that must be presented during screening processes.
  • Children under 5 years of age do not need to provide a COVID test result.
  • Take a COVID test at their own expense if they present symptoms on arrival.
  • Passengers must wear face masks at all times while in the aircraft and airport.
  • Provide proof of accommodation if self-quarantine is required.
  • Install and use the COVID Alert SA mobile app.


Chat with FinGlobal about your tax & financial emigration from South Africa

While international travel is “allowed” it seems as though most countries have turned their backs on South Africa and that any globe-trotting will have to be on hold if you wish to travel to the likes of the UK or Europe. Of course, it is best to check if the country you specifically want to travel to has entry restrictions for South Africans.

If you’re planning to move overseas, it’s essential to have your financial matters in order. Many people overlook the processes involved when it comes to tax and financial emigration from South Africa. Whether you’ve already moved or are only thinking about it, it’s best to discuss your tax and financial emigration with a knowledgeable consultant in the field. At FinGlobal we have ten years of experience to fall back on, and we have a reputation for providing premier advice and guidance to South African expats across the globe. All you need to do is contact us for more information and advice. You can give us a call on +27 28 312 2764 or email us at info@finglobal.com today.