COVID-19 in South Africa
Key Information for Travelers to South Africa
- Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to South Africa.
- If you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, avoid travel to South Africa.
- Even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, you may still be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19.
- Anyone 2 years or older should properly wear a well-fitting mask in indoor public spaces.
- If you have a weakened immune system or are at increased risk for severe disease, even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, talk with your clinician about your risk, and consider delaying travel to South Africa.
- Follow all requirements and recommendations in South Africa.
Level 4: Special Circumstances
Level 3: High
Level 2: Moderate
Level 1: Low
Make sure to plan ahead
- Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before you travel.
- Follow all airline requirements of transportation operators as well as any requirements at your destination, including mask wearing, proof of vaccination, testing, or quarantine.
- Consider getting tested for current infection with a viral test as close to the time of departure as possible (no more than 3 days) before travel.
- Requirements for travelers in other countries may differ from U.S. requirements. If you do not follow your destination’s requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return to the United States.
- Everyone aged 2 years or older—including passengers and workers— should properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator in indoor areas of public transportation (such as airplanes, trains, buses, ferries) and transportation hubs (such as airports, stations, and seaports), especially in locations that are crowded or poorly ventilated such as airport jetways.
- You have COVID-19 symptoms, even if you recovered from COVID-19 within the past 90 days or are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines.
- You tested positive for COVID-19.
- Do not travel until a full 10 days after your symptoms started or the date your positive test was taken if you had no symptoms.
- You are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test.
- You had close contact with a person with COVID-19 and are recommended to quarantine.
- Do not travel until a full 5 days after your last close contact with the person with COVID-19. It is best to avoid travel for a full 10 days after your last exposure.
- If you must travel during days 6 through 10 after your last exposure:
- Get tested at least 5 days after your last close contact. Make sure your test result is negative and you remain without symptoms before traveling. If you don’t get tested, avoid travel until a full 10 days after your last close contact with a person with COVID-19.
- Properly wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of travel during days 6 through 10. If you are unable to wear a mask, you should not travel during the days 6 through 10.
If you had close contact with a person with COVID-19 but are NOT recommended to quarantine...
- Get tested at least 5 days after your last close contact. Make sure your test result is negative and you remain without symptoms before traveling.
- If you had confirmed COVID-19 within the past 90 days, you do NOT need to get tested, but you should still follow all other recommendations (including getting tested if you develop COVID-19 symptoms).
- If you travel during the 10 days after your last exposure, properly wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of travel during the 10 days. If you are unable to wear a mask, you should not travel during the 10 days.
Before boarding a flight to the United States, you are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 1 day before travel. There is also an option for people who have documented recovery from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. Learn more about these requirements.
Vaccination – Non-U.S. Citizen, Non-U.S. Immigrant
If you are a non-U.S. citizen who is a nonimmigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa), you will need to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before you travel by air to the United States from a foreign country. Learn more about this requirement.
Providing Contact Information
All air passengers to the United States are also required to provide contact information to airlines before boarding flights to the United States.
A tool to help you know the requirements to board a flight to the United States.
After Arrival in the United States
- Get tested for current infection with a COVID-19 viral test 3–5 days after arrival.
- Find a U.S. COVID-19 testing location near you.
- Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
- Follow all state, tribal, local and territorial recommendations or requirements after arrival.
- If you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, stay home and self-quarantine for a full 5 days after arrival.
- Non-U.S. citizens who are non-U.S. immigrants and meet an exception to the requirement for proof of COVID-19 vaccination, may be required to take additional steps after arrival.
If You Recently Recovered from COVID-19
If you had COVID-19 in the past 90 days and recovered, you do not need to be tested unless you develop new symptoms. You also do not need to self-quarantine after arrival.
- How CDC Determines the Level of a Destination’s COVID-19 Travel Health Notice
- US Department of State: Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
- Frequently Asked Questions about Travel and COVID-19
- COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination
- Health Information for International Destinations
- Domestic Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic