COVID-19 in South Africa
Key Information for Travelers to South Africa
- Avoid travel to South Africa.
- If you must travel to South Africa, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel.
- Because of the current situation in South Africa, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.
- Travelers should follow recommendations or requirements in South Africa, including wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart from others.
- Level 4 Travel Health Notices may be determined by level of COVID-19 in the destination or other special considerations.
Do not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated. Getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect yourself from severe disease, slow the spread of COVID-19, and reduce the number of new variants. CDC encourages you get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose if you are eligible. People who are not fully vaccinated should follow additional recommendations before, during, and after travel.
Before You Travel Internationally
Make sure to plan ahead:
- Follow all airline requirements as well as any requirements at your destination, including mask wearing, proof of vaccination, testing, or quarantine. Requirements 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.
Do NOT travel if…
- You are sick.
- You tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t ended isolation.
- After you end isolation, avoid travel until a full 10 days after your symptoms started or the date of your positive test if you had no symptoms.
- If you must travel on days 6 through 10, properly wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of travel. If you are unable to wear a mask, you should not travel during days 6 through 10.
- You had close contact with a person with COVID-19 and haven’t ended quarantine.
- Get tested at least 5 days after your last close contact and make sure your test result is negative and you remain without symptoms before traveling. If you don’t get tested, delay travel until a full 10 days after your last close contact with a person with COVID-19.
- If you must travel before the 10 days are completed, 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.
- You are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test. If your test comes back positive while you are at your destination, you will need to isolate and postpone your return until it’s safe for you to end isolation. Your travel companions may need to quarantine.
- Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required in indoor areas of public transportation (including on airplanes) traveling into, within, or out of the United States and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports).
Before Traveling to the United States
Testing - ALL Travelers
Before boarding a flight to the United States, you are required to show the following:
- A negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 1 day before travel.
Children under 2 years old do not need to test. There is also an option for people who have documented recovery from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. Learn more about these requirements.
All air passengers to the United States are also required to provide contact information to airlines before boarding flights to the United States. This strengthens a travel process already in place to rapidly identify and contact people in the U.S. who may have been exposed to a communicable disease, such as COVID-19. Access to travelers' contact information will allow U.S. federal, state, and local health departments and agencies to share appropriate health and public health information necessary to help keep the public safe.
After Arrival in the United States
You might have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels, whether you traveled by air, land, or sea. You might feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still be infected and spread the virus to others. For this reason, CDC recommends the following:
If You are NOT Fully Vaccinated
In addition to the recommendations above
- Stay home and self-quarantine for a full 5 days after travel.
If You Recovered from COVID-19 Recently
If you recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days (regardless of vaccination status), you do NOT need to get a test 3–5 days after travel. People can continue to test positive for up to 90 days after diagnosis and not be infectious to others. You also do not need to self-quarantine after travel. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms after travel, isolate and consult with a healthcare provider for testing recommendations.
- 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