Requirements for citizens re-entering South Africa

On November 11, 2020 / by Sherone Lewis / Leave a comment

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With numerous countries having reopened borders and several airlines resuming flights to South Africa, many South Africans will be eager for a break outside the country during the holiday season. Destinations like the Maldives, Seychelles and Zanzibar are enticing South Africans with easy entry and no quarantine requirements. But what happens when we arrive back in South Africa after that amazing getaway? Here are the requirements for citizens re-entering South Africa.

Under current immigration regulations, all passengers arriving at South African ports of entry must produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate on arrival. This applies to both international and South African entrants, and the negative PCR test certificate must have been obtained within 72 hours of arrival in South Africa.

Certain destinations have implemented solutions to facilitate the process of obtaining PCR test certificates for foreign visitors. Some hotels and resorts offer onsite testing to provide guests with PCR test certificates before returning to their home countries.

If South African citizens or permanent residents arrive in South Africa without the negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, they will be expected to quarantine at home or at a designated facility for 10 days. For South African citizens there is no charge for state-run quarantine facilities. Such persons may apply for early release from quarantine by taking a COVID-19 PCR test. If the result comes back negative, they may leave the quarantine facility. The result usually takes 24 to 72 hours to be processed.

Previously, South Africans who wished to self-isolate at home had to obtain approval for this before returning to South Africa. There was a list of requirements that had to be fulfilled before approval to self-isolate at home was granted. There is now no need for South Africans to apply for self-isolation at home before arrival, as requirements and procedures for entry to South Africa have changed with the shift to lockdown level one.

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