Level 1 Update: International travel is open! Please visit our COVID-19 Information Page before booking your travel.

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Safe Travel with Travelstart

Safe travel is our priority. Get the latest airline policies, entry requirements, and health and safety information for travellers.

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All flight operations are subject to the South African national travel ban and relevant lockdown level regulations and will be subject to certain conditions.

By proceeding to book, you confirm that you have checked the regulations and are allowed to travel. All flights booked will be subject to the airlines’ respective terms and conditions.

Find out which high-risk countries may not enter South Africa

Read More

Valid passport and E-Ticket

*Visa to enter South Africa (if applicable)

Upon arrival into South Africa, all travellers must present a negative PCR or Covid-19 test certificate not older than 72 hours from departure time from the country of origin.Tests must be conducted and signed by a certified medical practitioner. South African authorities reserve the right to verify the authenticity of test certificates.

Any traveller who exhibits Covid-19 symptoms when screened upon arrival will be required to take a Covid-19 test at their own expense. Should the test display positive results, travellers will be subject to mandatory quarantine for 10 days at their own expense.

All travellers must complete an Entry Health Screen Form either prior to or on arrival.

All travellers will be screened by Port Health Officials upon arrival and departure. Those presenting symptoms must remain in quarantine until a repeat COVID-19 test is carried out.

All travellers must wear masks at all times within the airport or port of entry.

Foreign nationals must have travel insurance that covers the costs of testing, quarantine and hospitalisation (if needed) before boarding their flight to South Africa. This does not apply to South African citizens.

Travellers must show proof of accommodation or address in South Africa in the event self-quarantine is required.

International flights will only operate in and out of these three airports: OR Tambo in Joburg, King Shaka in Durban and Cape Town International Airport.

For overland travel, travellers may access any of the 18 open land borders.

Scholars and educators needing to commute daily from neighbouring countries are free to do so, subject to entry requirements.

Long-term visas will be reinstated and South African visa application centres abroad will be opened.

Travellers are encouraged to install the COVID Alert SA mobile app.

*Please note that certain visas on arrival have been revoked and must be applied for prior to arrival in South Africa. Please check with your nearest SA Embassy.

South African citizens and permanent residents will always be allowed entry into South Africa, regardless of where they are travelling from. The South African Government strongly discourages travel to and from high-risk countries where possible.

Airline Information

Read the latest airline policies to stay updated

BA Comair and kulula are currently undergoing voluntary business rescue. Flights are scheduled to resume from 1 November 2020.

Validity: Applicable for travel between 14 March and 31 October 2020.

Rebooking: BA Comair will rebook you onto a new flight between 1 November 2020 and 20 April 2022. One free date change is allowed. Any difference in fares and taxes will be charged.

Refunds: Fare rule penalties apply. Refunds will only be permitted if the flight is cancelled by the airline.

View more on BA Comair

kulula and BA Comair are currently undergoing voluntary business rescue. Flights are scheduled to resume from 1 November 2020.

Validity: Applicable for travel between 14 March and 31 October 2020.

Rebooking: Kulula will rebook you onto a new flight between 1 November 2020 and 20 April 2022. One free date change is allowed. Any difference in fares and taxes will be charged.

Refunds: Fare rule penalties apply. Refunds will only be permitted if the flight is cancelled by the airline.

View more on kulula

If you booked your Mango ticket with Travelstart on/before 25 May 2020 for travel between 16 March - 30 September 2020 and will not be travelling, please click here to apply for your Mango voucher.

Please note that each airline has different airline policies regarding refunds, suspensions and date changes. While Travelstart is not responsible for the airlines’ decisions, we will do our best to assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to see the full list of countries that are prohibited from travelling into South Africa for leisure purposes.

Entry into South Africa for foreign nationals is based on where the traveller has spent the previous 10 days. If the passport of a foreign national traveller from a high-risk country indicates that they have spent 10 days or more in a low-risk country before departure to South Africa, they will be considered to be arriving from a low-risk country and subject to the low-risk entry requirements.

South African citizens and permanent residents will always be allowed to return home, whether or not they are travelling from or through a high-risk country.

South Africans may travel to any country that is open to South Africans for leisure or business purposes.

South Africans will always be allowed to return home, whether or not they are travelling from or through a high-risk country.

The requirement for travel insurance applies to foreign national travellers. South Africans without travel insurance will not be denied entry, however you are strongly advised to take out a comprehensive insurance cover for peace of mind.

South African authorities do not require you to have a test when departing South Africa, unless it is required by the country you are travelling to. However, should you exhibit symptoms during screening, you will be denied boarding.

Testing may be conducted at various international airports so make sure you have the required documents for your destination. Some countries, like the UAE, require a negative PCR test when transiting through airports (including Dubai and Abu Dhabi). This is required for BOTH directions and applies when travelling with Emirates and Etihad.

You can access over 200 testing sites across the country. Please visit Pathcare, Lancet and Ampath for a list of sites per province.

The cost for a Covid-19 test is R850 and results take 48-72 hours to process.

If you choose to cancel your booking, you will be liable for the airline’s penalty fee and all taxes.

Alternatively, if you opt for a date change within the airline’s time frame and conditions, your change fees might be waived (you may still need to pay any differences in fares and taxes).

If the airline cancels your ticket, they will communicate what options are available to you. Most airlines will offer to rebook your ticket or send you a flight voucher.

Please review the airline booking options relevant to you on this page. Once you have decided on what action to apply to your booking, kindly select the suitable option on our Contact Us page.

Should you be eligible for a refund, this is dependent on the airline’s policy and may take 10 - 12 weeks to process.

Coronavirus Information for Travellers

Please check the airline websites directly for the latest updates on your flight status. Once you have decided on what action to apply to your booking, kindly select the suitable option on our Contact Us page.

Official Coronavirus Advisory Resources for South Africans

World Health Organization (WHO)

South African Department of Health

International Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)

View the official government resource portal on COVID-19

Virus prevention tips

International travel opens new avenues for outbreaks. Travellers should be doing everything in their power to protect themselves and to prevent the spread of the virus. Here are some safe travel precautions:

Basic hygiene can help limit the risk of catching respiratory viruses such as COVID-19:

  1. Cover your mouth when sneezing and coughing.
  2. Don’t put your hands to your mouth before washing them.
  3. Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and soap.
  4. Avoid touching your eyes and nose.

It is in airlines’ interest to limit crew and passengers’ exposure to coronavirus. Airlines have enacted enhanced sanitization programmes including:

  • Thorough cleaning and sterilisation processes. Planes arriving from high-risk areas receive additional deep cleaning such as disinfectant fogging.
  • High-touch surfaces such as tray tables, handsets and inflight entertainment screens are cleaned with disinfectant wipes.
  • All headsets, headrest covers, pillow covers, bedsheets and blankets are replaced after every flight sector.
  • Advanced air filtration systems such as High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters ensure cabin air is disinfected. Constant airflow ensures that the cabin air is refreshed everytwo to three minutes.
  • Crew are subject to pre-flight temperature screening.
Green List for South African Travel

Green List for South African Travel

Level 1 Travel Info

Level 1 Travel Info

How Lockdown Affects Your Booking

How Lockdown Affects Your Booking

Disclaimer: Information on this page is accurate and reliable at time of publication, however, it may not reflect the very latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.

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