Key leisure travel markets remain on South Africa’s red list
News release, 19 October 2020; The South African government has reduced its list of countries that fall into its high-risk category for Covid-19, while stressing the importance of adhering to all prescribed protocols. The risk model adopted by our government places all countries with significantly higher rates of infection than South Africa in a high-risk category. While the revised list has shrunk from 60 to 22 countries since the announcement two weeks ago, it still excludes leisure travellers from key markets such as UK, USA, France, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Furthermore, Germany, Italy, Spain and Canada have been added to the high-risk list.
The countries currently on the high-risk list are: Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Spain, UK, and USA.
There are exceptions to the above rule, including business travellers, holders of critical skills visas, investors and people on an international mission in sports, arts, culture and science. In addition, regular visitors from mainly European countries – the ‘swallows’, who are accustomed to spending summer in South Africa – are allowed to return. As many of these swallows own properties in South Africa, the government is acknowledging their significant economic contribution to the country.
With our first guests already in camp, Tswalu is pleased to announce that on-site Covid testing is a reality. The government requirement for travellers is a certified PCR test, not older than 72 hours from time of departure from their country of origin. Convenient and quick, Tswalu’s on-site PCR test needs to be booked 10 days prior to a guest’s arrival. The cost of the test is R900 per person (approximately US$55), and the turnaround time for results is less than 72 hours. Tests are administered at the Tswalu Health Care Centre, and sent to Cape Town for laboratory analysis. The test outcome documentation includes the original lab report plus a confirmation letter from Tswalu’s on-site medical doctor, authenticated by a commissioner of oaths (also, conveniently, on site).
SATSA continues to publish the most up to date information about travel regulations to South Africa. Its website www.satsa.com is a great resource.
With all Covid-19 protocols and procedures firmly in place and convenient PCR testing available on site, there has never been a better time to experience Tswalu’s wide, open spaces or to appreciate the privacy and exclusivity of South Africa’s largest privately owned reserve.