Months after restarting international travel but restricting it to just a handful of countries, South Africa is set to welcome back travelers from across the globe. And yes, that includes Americans.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the news on Twitter Wednesday, and it was first spotted by God Save the Points. The timing of when South Africa may welcome more tourists is unclear, but it appears to be moving fast.
We are also opening up international travel to all countries subject to the necessary health protocols and the presentation of a negative COVID-19 certificate.
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) November 11, 2020
South Africa's testing requirements will remain in effect for all incoming travelers. The country requires all visitors to present a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. In a subsequent tweet, President Ramaphosa also said South Africa will be “using rapid tests and strict monitoring we intend to limit the spread of the infection through importation.” That suggests some additional restrictions or testing will be in place.
Whenever it happens, it's welcome news for one of the world's rising tourist destinations. With an unbeatable combination of beaches, rugged coastal views, and some of the best wine in the world, Cape Town is a must-visit.
South Africa shut down all international tourism earlier this year as the COVID-19 pandemic first struck, initially suggesting it wouldn't resume until well into 2021. But that changed this fall, as the country announced it would allow travelers from select countries to enter. Many countries didn't make the cut when South Africa first restarted tourism Oct. 1.
More than 60 “high-risk” countries were banned, including the U.S., United Kingdom, Greece, Ireland, and countless more. That list steadily shrunk, but the U.S. remained on it.
Soon, that is changing. With testing requirements and contact tracing, South Africa is betting it can safely kickstart its suffering tourism industry and welcome back travelers from across the globe.
Thrifty Tip: One of our favorite ways to get to South Africa is using American AAdvantage miles to fly Qatar Airways – especially in Qsuites for just 75,000 miles each way!
Slowly but surely, destinations and countries the world over are re-opening their borders and resuming travel. Whenever you plan your next visit, adding South Africa to that column is a win for travelers.