The Department of Tourism has published the revised list of ‘high-risk countries’ that aren’t allowed to send tourists to South Africa. Although 43 nations have been removed, five others have been added on for the first time. In total, there are 22 states that remain in the ‘travel ban category’ for South Africa – but, for some, there may be a way around things…

Loophole for travellers from high-risk countries uncovered

We already know that the following people from high-risk countries are allowed to visit South Africa:

  • Business travellers.
  • Holders of critical skills visas.
  • Investors.
  • People on international missions in sports, arts, culture, and science. 

However, on Monday, the government announced that there is a potential ‘loophole’ that travellers from the excluded 22 nations could exploit. South Africa is willing to let any person from a high-risk country – including leisure tourists – if their stay is for 90 days or longer. It’s a sweet deal if you’re not particularly constrained by time.

Could you be a 90-day tourist in South Africa?

For many, the requirement to stay for three months as a holidaymaker might be too much of a stretch. But, as the tourism department alluded to earlier, plenty of visitors from the northern hemisphere crave the warmth of Mzansi during their particularly hostile winter months. Officials have stated that any ‘long visitors’ will be subject to all COVID health protocols:

“In its last meeting, the Cabinet instructed the Ministers of Health, Home Affairs, and Tourism to lead a process to review the list, based on our risk categorization model. The review of the list of high-risk countries was done in such a way that it strikes a balance between saving lives and protecting livelihoods.”

“Nothing has changed as far as all travellers from the continent of Africa are concerned. They are still welcome to visit the country subject to Covid-19 protocols. We will also allow visitors, in whichever category, who are coming to stay for a three months period or more subject to COVID-19 protocols.”

Department of Tourism statement


Presh JM Reporter

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