After previously announcing that it would remain closed to tourism until 2021, South Africa is now reversing course and opening to select countries on October 1, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said earlier this week.
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) September 16, 2020
International travelers will be allowed into South Africa as long as they can show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. They will also have to undergo temperature checks upon landing in the Cape Town, Durban, or Johannesburg international airports. Any traveler attempting to enter south African without proof of a negative COVID-19 test or showing symptoms of COVID-19 will have to quarantine at their own expense.
Not all international travelers will be allowed to enter, however. South Africa will release a list of countries permitted to enter, consisting of those with low rates of infection. It hasn’t been announced whether the US is on the list.
Travelers should also expect a midnight to 4:00 AM curfew to be in effect, and alcohol sales to be limited to Monday to Friday between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Masks will also be required in all public spaces, and all visitors must download the COVID Alert South Africa contact-tracing app.
A version of this article was previously published on June 1, 2020, and was updated on September 18, 2020, with more information.