[Update 12 November 2020] - The South African Government has now scrapped the red list altogether. Citizens from ALL countries are now able to visit South Africa again, provided they show a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.]

On 19 October 2020, the South African government released a revised list of high-risk countries for international travel. Instead of the 57 previously listed high-risk countries, the new list now contains only 22 countries, indicating a notable decrease in countries from where travellers are prohibited from entering South African borders.

No changes have been made to the usual visa requirements and the coronavirus risk mitigation protocols travellers to South Africa can expect to encounter remain in place. For further details on what those preventative procedures are and how they might impact on your visit to South Africa, please see our recent COVID Travel blog post.

Revised List of 22 High-Risk Countries

Tourists from the revised list of 22 high-risk countries with high COVID-19 infection rates are not able to travel to South Africa for leisure purposes. Business travellers, holders of critical skills visas, investors and people on international missions in sports, arts, culture, and science from these nations will be permitted to travel to South Africa provided they have requested and received permission from the Department of Home Affairs.

Here's the list of banned countries:
  1. Argentina
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Belgium
  4. Brazil
  5. Canada
  6. Chile
  7. Colombia
  8. Germany
  9. India
  10. Indonesia
  11. Iran
  12. Iraq
  13. Italy
  14. France
  15. Mexico
  16. Netherlands
  17. Peru
  18. Philippines
  19. Russia
  20. Spain
  21. United Kingdom
  22. USA

If you’re from a listed high-risk country, you can still enter South Africa. Here’s how:

If you’re a leisure traveller from one of the 22 high-risk countries listed above, you can still visit South Africa if you spend 10 days or more in a low-risk country before departure. However, COVID-19 entry requirements for medium- and low-risk travellers still apply, namely:

  • You must present a paper copy of a negative PCR test result for COVID-19 that is less than 72 hours old at the time of departure.
  • You must install the official COVID-19 contact tracing app and show proof of a confirmed accommodation booking.
  • On arrival, you will undergo a health screening, and if you show COVID-19 symptoms you will be tested. If the test result is positive, you will need to quarantine at your own cost.

Business travel is possible even for people from high-risk countries, but you need to apply in advance by sending a detailed email outlining your travel plans to covid19travel@dha.gov.za. On average, about 70% of applications for business travel are successful.

We remain open

While we wait for the world to get this pandemic under control and beat the second wave of infections currently showing up in many countries, Wild Wings Safaris remains open and we are taking bookings for 2021. Our booking terms remain very flexible and most suppliers allow travellers to get a full refund in case they are forced to cancel or unable to travel due to COVID-19.

We look forward to welcoming tourists back to Africa soon!

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About the author

Dianne
Dianne

Dianne Kokkonidis was born in Johannesburg, grew up in the Transkei and spent years exploring Europe. She returned to South Africa to live on a farm in the Outeniqua Mountains when the call of Africa got too loud to ignore. She comes from a family of storytellers, so it’s no surprise she’s now found her way into writing about one the oldest stories known to mankind - the lure of Africa.