The Home Affairs Office of South Africa has announced that it plans to resume the visa-free travel it had with 11 countries. This travel existed before the pandemic, but in an effort to limit the number of cases to the country, those privileges were suspended earlier this year. It is important to note, says the Minister of Home Affairs, that all of the COVID safety regulations will still be maintained, and that only the countries listed will be having their privileges reinstated.
Travelling with caution
The 11 countries that South Africa will now allow to travel visa-free are South Korea, Spain, Italy, Germany, the United States, the UK, Portugal, France, Iran, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The Home Affairs office stated that the origin country of travel will be what matters for flyers, not where the airline is located from. The gradual reopening of travel from these countries is a hope to stymie losses to tourism to the nation. In the notes of the meeting, the Home Affairs office added that people wishing to connect flights in South Africa may do so — but only if they adhere to the mandatory safety guidelines and are COVID free for the past 72 hours.
Travel is safe for some
It is important to mention that many of the travel restrictions that South Africa has put in place to halt the Coronavirus are still going to be in place. Ports in South Africa will still be upholding the rigorous inspection of essential goods from other countries, guidelines for truck drivers who cross country lines will remain the same, and immigration officers will still be tracking and noticing the location passengers travel from when coming to South Africa. In addition, any individuals who wish to travel from a high transmission country to South Africa for business need to apply for a permit before travelling.
What this means for travelers who have South Africa on their list is that, if their country is not one of the 11 above, that it is possible to see it added quite soon. In addition, any travelers should realize that South Africa, much like the rest of the world, does not have the Coronavirus in the rearview mirror just yet. All individuals should continue to practice social distancing and mask wearing as they prepare themselves and their families for travel. It does show promise to travelers, however, that very soon travel and vacations might be able to resume a level of normalcy after a hectic and homebound summer.