President Ramaphosa gave a jovial address as he confirmed Mzansi would shift to level 1 of lockdown from midnight on Sunday 20 September. Finally!

And good news for those with itchy feet is that International travel will resume from 1 October 2020. Time to dust off those suitcases, right? But what would international travel look like within the context of the new normal?

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has clarified the lifting of restrictions following the President’s announcement. Although borders will be open from 1  October, the floodgates certainly will not.

International travel will be subject to various containment and mitigation measures. For international travel, the government will place restrictions for travel to and from certain countries that have a high infection and transmission rates. The list of these countries will be published in due course and will be based on the latest scientific data. Some sources suggest that the US, the UK, Spain, India and Italy will remain off-limits, but this is still to be confirmed. The list will be gazetted before 1 October.

Only King Shaka International, OR Tambo International and Cape Town International airports will be open for international flights. On arrival, travellers will need to present a negative Covid-19 test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel, and in the event of the traveller’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative test, the traveller will be required to quarantine at his or her own cost.

All travellers will be screened on arrival and those presenting symptoms of Coronavirus will be required to remain in quarantine until a repeat COVID-19 test is conducted.

Also, all travellers will be asked to install the COVID Alert South Africa mobile app. According to our President, this trace and track app have been used by many countries to manage the virus quite effectively.

We are ready to welcome foreigners back to South Africa for the first time since March to enjoy our beaches, mountains, game parks and vibrant cities. This will be an enormous boost for the ailing tourist industry, and we are so grateful, but will it be wise to go abroad on holiday?

Whether or not to fly remains an individual choice. Coronavirus mainly spreads through person-to-person contact and travelling naturally exposes you to new people. So yes, all travel will involve some risk. However, if you take sensible precautions and ensure that you stay alert and abreast of the news while you are out there … in the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.

Thing is, life is meant for spectacular adventures … are you willing to take them now?


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.