International Travel To South Africa – Covid 19 Update June 2021

30 Jun 2021

Coronavirus update

South Africa is currently on the Red List for UK travellers

While the South African government allows international travel to and from South Africa for any purpose, including tourism, the FCDO advises against all but essential travel to South Africa based on the assessment of COVID-19 risks. There are strict health protocols including curfews in place. If you choose to travel, you should ensure you understand and comply with these protocols before travelling.

The British and Irish Lions are due to tour South Africa in July and August 2021. Under current South African regulations, British fans will be allowed to travel to South Africa but will not be allowed to attend or watch any matches live as all matches will be played behind closed doors.

South Africa is currently experiencing a third wave of Covid infections and in an effort to control the spread of the virus, the South African government has introduced a Level 4 lockdown. These stricter lockdown measures will be in effect for 2 weeks, until 11 July.


1. Restaurants are closed except for deliveries and take out: there is no indoor dining. Hotel restaurants are also closed but will make arrangements for room service options or individual dining options in-house.

2. Alcohol purchase for consumption is prohibited and there will not be any liquor served or for sale in hotels, restaurants or from liquor stores.

3. Game lodges which include drinks as part of their offering are making individual plans on where and under what conditions clients will be able to drink alcohol as this has effectively been "pre-purchased".

4. Wine farms are closed, and alternative arrangements will have to be made for Winelands tours.

5. Curfew times are now 9pm through to 4am and travellers will be required to stay in their accommodations during those hours. Exemptions have been made for transfers to later incoming or departing flights.

6. Markets, museums and galleries are closed.

7. The wearing of face masks in public spaces remains mandatory for all persons, excluding children under the age of 6.


At 60% most Covid-19 infections are currently centred in the Gauteng province, South Africa's smallest, but most populous province with Johannesburg as its biggest city. By contrast, the Western Cape province, home to Cape Town, currently accounts for just 10% of cases.

Leisure travel for residents of Gauteng is prohibited, but passengers can still transit through Johannesburg and OR Tambo International, and can overnight in Johannesburg as part of a broader itinerary connecting to other provinces or returning home.

Many travellers are staying in Johannesburg en route for PCR testing purposes and this is still permissible. We recommend that you should keep a copy of your itinerary and flight tickets with you should you be requested to present these at any stage.

There is also no indication that neighbouring countries will be closing their borders with South Africa.


If you have been in a country or territory on the:

• Green list - you must take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or before day 2

• Amber list - you must quarantine in the place you’re staying and take 2 COVID-19 tests

• Red list – you must quarantine for 10 full days in a managed quarantine hotel and take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining.

You cannot currently enter the UK if you’ve been in or through a country on the red list unless you’re British, Irish or you have the right to live in the UK.

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated.

Stricter lockdowns in South Africa have proved effective in the past, and we are hopeful that these measures will contain this outbreak. Please keep an eye out on our blogs for updates pertaining to the latest information on travel to South Africa.


Kwandwe Melton Manor


Whenever I hear any friend contemplating a trip to South Africa, I now rush at them with every reason under the sun why they should let Ash Jarvis and the Best of South Africa Travel take care of their whole trip – because she gets it 100% right. Ash listened to what we wanted for our special 15-year wedding anniversary ...

Sarah Rutherford

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