Updated the 09th of September, 2021
South Africa has instituted strict health and hygiene protocols, both legislated and driven by industry through the Tourism Business Council of South Africa’s Travel Safe Eat Safe programme. Hospitality providers, including accommodation providers, restaurants, etc are subject to these protocols, which include retaining contact details of patrons and guests, including their temperature, for tracking and tracing; mandatory requirement of wearing masks, sanitising surfaces, sanitising stations, reducing touch points, capacity restrictions in public spaces and in vehicles, curfews from midnight to 4am. With these protocols in place, it is business as usual for the hospitality, tourism and aviation sector.
The mandatory health and hygiene protocols include wearing mask, social distancing, adhering to curfew, etc.
Travellers arriving at any of South Africa’s international ports, will be required to comply with the following entry requirements.
• Complete Passenger Arrival Form – click here
• A negative PCR test obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of departure from the country of origin. This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such test. You will be required to carry the negative PCR test certificate when travelling.
• Proof of accommodation and address while in South Africa in case they are required to self-isolate.
• Travel insurance that covers the cost of testing or quarantine.
• Download the COVID Alert South Africa App.
• The normal visa regulations apply. Here is the list of visa-exempted countries.
South Africa is open to international travellers from all countries, subject to the requirements outlined under Entry Requirements for International Travellers, below. There are no travel restrictions for international travel into South Africa. It should be noted, however, that travellers returning to their country of origin may be subject to such regulations as quarantine on arrival, negative PCR testing, etc. Please check what the requirements are for returning travellers before departing the country or origin.
• On arrival, you will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms and required to answer questions by Health Authorities
• If you fail to submit a negative PCR test certificate, you will be required to do an antigen test on arrival at your own cost. Should you test positive for COVID-19, you will be required to isolate at your own cost, for a period of 10 days.
• We request that travellers comply with all the mandatory health and hygiene protocols during their stay, including wearing mask, social distancing, adhering to curfew, etc.
• All travellers departing South Africa are required to complete the South African exit health screening form.
• Depending on the rules of the destination country, you may be required to produce, among others, negative PCR test, undergo antigen or screening test on arrival in destination and even commit to a self-isolation or quarantine period, with a follow-up PCR test
There are no travel restrictions within South Africa, other than adherence to non-pharmaceutical protocols, such as mask wearing in public spaces, social distancing, hand sanitising, limited capacity in venues and establishments, limitations on size of gatherings and the curfew from midnight to 4am.
PCR testing is widely available across South Africa. Private laboratories, such as Ampath, Lancet, Lab24, PathCare, Epicentre and Testaro offer PCR testing with or without appointment. There is also rapid antigen tests and PCR testing at OR Tambo, Cape Town International and King Shaka International. For travellers wanting concierge PCR testing, there are several private medical providers who provide concierge testing facilities at hotels, or any accommodation, even lodges in the Kruger. The cost of PCR tests is around R850 and these take between 24 and 48 hours for results.
If you are diagnosed with COVID while you’re in South Africa, you will be required to self-isolate at your accommodation (if allowed) or a designated self-isolation accommodation establishment (see above) if your symptoms are not severe. If your symptoms escalate, you will be admitted to a medical facility for care. South Africa’s private medical facilities are of a high quality and provide world-class medical care. Private medical facilities are offered countrywide by such groups as: Mediclinic, Life Healthcare and Netcare. The doctor to patient ratio differs greatly between public and private healthcare facilities. In the case of the former, it is unacceptably low (one doctor to 4,000 patients). However, the doctor to patient ratio for private healthcare is one doctor to less than 300 patients, which is equivalent to ratios seen in countries with first-class medical care, like Switzerland.
In the event of a traveller testing positive for COVID-19, he or she will be required to isolate him or herself at his or her own cost, for a period of 10 days. While there are hotels that are designated quarantine sites, you can also check whether your accommodation establishment will allow you to quarantine or self-isolate in that space.
Hotel cancellation policy-generic but is not a standard mandate with all hotels. At the time of booking, each hotel will advise their own cancellation policy.
The terms and conditions of all third-party suppliers differ. These COVID terms & conditions remain as per below until further notice:
In the event of a FIT cancellation due to the following COVID19 reasons, no cancellation penalty will be applied;
• Should the South African government suddenly prohibit guests travelling into South Africa by way of lock down or international border closure from the guest’s country of residence
• Should the government in the guest’s country of residence suddenly prohibit travel from the guests’ country of residence or prohibit travel to South Africa
• The guest has contracted COV19 within 72 hours of estimated arrival and is in quarantine or undergoing treatment
• The guest has tested positive at the airport on said arrival and is not allowed to travel
Kindly note that a positive test as evidence will be required in order to support & verify the reasons for cancellation. In the event of cancellation for reasons outside of COVID19, standard STO terms & conditions will apply
CSI Programme: December 2016
On 07 December 2017 we visited Elundini Children’s home for children with special needs and founder Indy Kwana to host a magic show and provide happy meals with toys, and of course Santa.This was a small programme hosted by Cindy and mirchee to feed 130 children at Elundini Childrens home and surrounding informal crèches within the Dunoon Township with the help of Indy.
Besides the great work Indy is doing for the community and children within, we visited many other women in the community which have informal crèches running from their own home, with no outside support or voice.
CSI Programme: March 2017
I (Cindy Pereira Buser)was travelling to India with my children, and our flight on Ethiopian Airlines was delayed for 17 hours. So, we decided to explore the capital city of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia.
We visited the Ethiopian museum where we were approached by this guide named Mike (Ethiopian name- Mekuanenet Abebe) who said he would show us around. I did not want a guide as both my sons have a very short attention span, being 4 and 8 years old.
I declined the offer but he kept insisting that he would not charge me a cent and would like to take us on a guided tour for free as he wanted to improve his English-speaking skills. After much persuasion, I agreed and we were taken around the museum. Knowing that possibly I would not pay him and being so patient with both my kids and carrying my younger one on his shoulders, when he was tired, only made me realise that this man had determination!
When we finished the tour, I then decided to pay him something and he refused to accept any money from me and said it was only his pleasure in showing us around, and the more he guides for free, the more experience he would get!
Mike did not know my background in terms of me being from the tourism industry, and the Owner and Managing Director of `mirchee’.
I then asked him what were his dreams and aspirations and where does he want to go with his career, and he then mentioned that he would like to learn `German’, to be able to guide and escort German tourists.
That’s when I handed him my business card and asked him to contact me when I was back in South Africa, after my holiday.
He did contact me, and we at `mirchee’ have decided to sponsor his course at the German School in Addis Ababa. We will monitor his progress on a regular basis and we wish Mike all the best!
What inspires me about Mike and people like Mike, is the absolute humility, determination and drive to do their best, irrespective, if there is any reward or payback!
For me personally, this determines the success of a person!
(email from Mike)
“Dear my Cindy
How are you doing with your families? I am very fine and thanks to you I am studying hard.
I am very happy that you will help me in other ways for my success.
I have sent you the photos with my class meets.
God be with you and blessing
Big son Love
Your sincerely boy Mike”