Foreign travel advice

South Africa

Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel

It is illegal to travel abroad from the UK for holidays. Follow current COVID-19 rules where you live: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In England, you must have a permitted reason to travel abroad and complete the declaration form.

Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new social distancing rules with little warning. Check our advice for each country you will visit or transit through.

When you return, follow the rules to enter the UK from abroad (except from Ireland).

Terrorism

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

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners such as shopping areas in major cities.

The main threat is from extremists linked to Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL). In February 2018, two South African-British nationals were kidnapped and killed.

The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage taking.

There is also a threat from individuals who may have been inspired by terrorist groups, including Daesh, to carry out so called ‘lone actor’ attacks targeting public places including where foreigners may gather.

South African authorities have successfully disrupted several planned attacks and made a number of arrests related to terrorism offences including alleged plots to attack Jewish targets and western diplomatic missions. South African authorities have also been effective against right-wing extremists.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.