Restrictions on travel to enter/exit South Africa

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS


Worldwide, the COVID-19 developments differ per country and region.  Gradually, it is possible again to travel, but governments may have set travel restrictions. 

The South African government has released a list of high risk countries where leisure travellers are not allowed to enter South Africa if their country of residence appears on the list.  Currently France is unfortunately on the list, however we believe that the list is quite dynamic and will change according to the situation in the different countries.  

Listed below are restrictions that have been put in place by the South African government that we need to adhere to in order to operate commercial international flights. Please note that as the COVID-19 situation changes on a daily basis, these guidelines are also subject to change.

It is the responsibility of the customer to check the local health requirements of the country being travelled to and to ensure that the correct travel and health documentation is in order while travelling. 


Who is allowed to enter South Africa? 

  • From NON high-risk countries: Residents of low and medium risk countries for any kind of purpose are allowed to travel to South Africa. The normal visa regulations apply. See list of countries exempted from visa here.
 
  • From HIGH RISK countries: Residents of high risk countries are allowed to travel except for short term leisure purposes (<90 days); this means that all South African passport holders, diplomats, travellers holding permanent or temporary residency permits or a long term or short term visa as well as people on international mission in sports, arts, culture and science, are allowed to enter South Africa. Investors, business travellers and visitors for more than 90 days who do not have a visa yet can apply for one and are allowed to travel to South Africa. All travellers must have a visa upon departure.


Who is not allowed to enter South Africa? 
 

Only residents of high risk countries travelling for short term leisure purposes (tourists staying less than 90 days) are not permitted to enter South Africa. 


List of “high-risk” countries (as of 19 October 2020), to be updated every 14 days 

Short term tourists (stay <90 days) are not allowed to enter South Africa if their country of residence is in the list below: 
Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, USA


Is it possible to travel from South Africa to high risk countries?
 

Yes, you are allowed to travel from South Africa to a high risk country as long as you have the correct travel documentation and fulfil the health requirements to enter the country of your final destination and transit port of entry.

Travellers are advised to prepare well for their journey by checking the travel and health restrictions of the countries to which they travel. This can be done via the Air France website Travel Doc or via the IATA Travel Centre website. 

Air France Travel Doc
IATA Travel Centre

All travellers are required to complete the South African exit health screening form.

If you are travelling to France, it is recommended that you travel with a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR test) taken less than 72 hours before your flight, to present upon arrival in France. If you have not done the test, a free COVID-19 test can be done upon arrival. Passengers in transit to outside France are not concerned by this measure. 

All travellers to France must also complete a travel certificate and carry it at all times during their journey.   

Customers who travel to The Netherlands are required by the Dutch government to do a health screening.   During check in, customers will receive a health statement to read and acknowledge. In addition, they need to fill out a health screening form that they have to take with them when travelling. 

Customers travelling beyond Paris CDG and Amsterdam may need a health certificate confirming that they have tested negative for COVID-19 depending on their final destination.   

It is the responsibility of the customer to check the local health requirements of the country being travelled to and to ensure that the correct travel and health documentation is in order while travelling. 


Is transit in high risk countries allowed?

Yes, transit in high risk countries, including Paris and Amsterdam, is allowed, as long as you comply with the travel/health documentation if required. 


What is required from Business travellers/Investors/Visitors for a 90-day period or more from high risk countries to enter South Africa?  

Travellers who wish to undertake business travel to South Africa, must, in writing, apply to the Minister of Home Affairs and provide reasons for their request to enter South Africa for business purposes. This also includes visitors coming to stay for a 90-day period or more. It is advisable to contact the South African Embassy or consulate of their country of departure for further guidance.

Applications must be sent via email to Covid19BusinessTravel@dha.gov.za and be supported with the following documents: 
  • copy of passport and/or temporary residence visa
  • proof of business activities to be undertaken in South Africa
  • proof of travel itinerary
  • proof of address or accommodation in South Africa

An approval response should be received prior to departure for South Africa.


What is required of all travellers to enter South Africa? 

Prior to departure to South Africa, all travellers will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result certificate that is no older than 72 hours before the date of the start of travel.  South African nationals and South African residents who fail to present a negative COVID-19 test result will be accepted to fly and then tested and quarantined upon arrival at their own cost. 

Mandatory test results do not apply to children under 5 years old. 

It is mandatory for non-South African nationals and non-South African residents to present a negative test result prior to departure and strongly recommended for South African nationals and South African residents. 

Upon arrival in South Africa, all travellers will be subjected to screening by Port of Health Officials. All travellers detected with symptoms (which include elevated body temperatures and flu-like symptoms) or in contact with an infected person, will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test in South Africa. 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.  

It is highly recommended that all travellers download the COVID-Alert App (COVID Alert SA) so that they are able to monitor and minimise their risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.


Will citizens from high risk countries living in a low/medium risk country be allowed to enter South Africa? 

If the national or a resident from a high risk country can prove (proof of residency in a low/medium-risk country or passport stamp, etc.) that he/she has spent 10 days or more in a low/medium-risk country before departure, he/she will be considered to be arriving from a low risk country. 


What happens if the traveller is not able to get the COVID-19 PCR test and results on time prior to departure?
 

All tickets are changeable to a later date without a rebooking fee, however a fare difference might still apply. Rebooking must be completed before initial departure date to avoid being a NO SHOW.  


Will Air France from/to South Africa be operating? 

All planned Air France flights from/to South Africa will be operating.  Travellers will have to abide by the regulations to travel from/to South Africa. 


Are all countries allowed to book flights from/to South Africa?  

All Air France flights from/to South Africa are open for sale and bookable by all channels (direct/indirect, online/offline) by all Points of Sale. Travellers can book through their preferred channel as long as they comply with the regulations to travel from/to South Africa. 


Where can travellers get a PCR COVID-19 test in France?  

For travellers who need a health certificate confirming that they have tested negative for COVID-19 depending on their final destination, Air France proposes official test facilities.  

Air France has set up partnerships with the Synlab and BioGroup laboratories in Paris and in France. More info can be found here. Travelers can also visit the Doctolib website to make appointments with other laboratories performing Covid-19 PCR tests.
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