Summary

COVID-19 entry restrictions for South Africa

Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for South Africa’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.

Travelling from and returning to the UK

Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before travelling to the UK.

If you’re travelling to South Africa during coronavirus, see the Coronavirus page for more information.

During the COVID-19 pandemic it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check your cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

On 25 November the Minister for Health announced that the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, had been detected in South Africa. For the latest information and guidance on COVID-19 in South Africa, see the Coronavirus page

There are regular protest marches, demonstrations, and periodic incidents of public disorder across South Africa, which can become violent. See Protests and demonstrations

The South African government allows international travel to and from South Africa for any purpose, including tourism. There are strict health protocols including curfews in place. If you choose to travel, you should ensure you understand and comply with these protocols before travelling and during your stay. You should read Entry requirements and Coronavirus sections in full before planning your travel.

Over 430,000 British tourists visited South Africa in 2019. Most visits are trouble-free, but a small number of British people encounter problems. You should take sensible precautions to protect your safety.

There is a high level of crime including rape and murder in South Africa. Most violent crimes tend to occur in townships, isolated areas and away from the normal tourist destinations. However, armed robberies have taken place in other places, for example one leading to the death of a tourist on Table Mountain in Cape Town. See Crime

There are special requirements for travelling to South Africa with children under the age of 18. See Travelling with children

Beach conditions and local safety provisions vary considerably throughout the South African coastline and every year several people drown due to the strong sea currents. See Water safety

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in South Africa. See Terrorism

British nationals are increasingly being targeted by scam artists. See Fraud and scams

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.