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.
Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some COVID-19 variants.
Do not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated, there are additional recommendations to follow 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 have been exposed to COVID-19 unless you are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
- You are sick.
- You tested positive for COVID-19 and haven't ended isolation.
- You are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test.
Learn what to do in each of these situations and when it is safe for you to travel if you or your travel companion may have COVID-19.
- 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 one of the following:
- If you are fully vaccinated: Proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 3 days before travel.
- If you are NOT fully vaccinated: 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 will also be 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. 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 testing recommendations above
- Stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if you test negative at 3–5 days.
- If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 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