Good news for travel and tourism as lockdown restrictions ease in South Africa
News release, 1 March 2021; South Africa has officially moved back to Covid-19 lockdown Level 1, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 28 February 2021.
Most of the remaining restrictions on the economy, including the tourism sector, have been removed. Of significance is the shortening of the national curfew hours, which now only apply from midnight to 04h00. This not only allows restaurants to trade for longer but will also give airlines more flexibility in their arrival and departure schedules. Long-haul flight departures and landings are permitted during the hours of curfew.
Establishments, including restaurants and bars, will need to close by no later than 23h00 in order to ensure their customers and staff are able to return home prior to the start of the midnight curfew.
Restrictions on the sale of alcohol have also been lifted, and gatherings of up to 100 people are now allowed indoors for an event and 250 people are allowed to attend an outdoor event, provided all social distancing protocols in place.
OR Tambo International Airport, King Shaka International Airport; Cape Town International Airport: Lanseria International Airport; and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport are all open for international air travel.
All international travellers arriving at the airport must provide a valid certificate of a negative Covid-19 test, recognised by the World Health Organisation, which needs to be obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel.
In the event of the traveller’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative test, the traveller will be required to do an antigen test on arrival at own cost. In the event of a traveller testing positive for Covid-19, isolation for a 10-day period will be required at own cost.
South Africa’s vaccination programme roll-out, launched 10 days ago, has already seen more than 67 000 frontline health care workers vaccinated. Phase two of the roll-out is expected to start by early May, targeting the elderly and those with co-morbidities. TBCSA is also currently lobbying government to prioritise frontline tourism workers during Phase two.
A reminder that in South Africa the wearing of a cloth mask in public, covering the nose and mouth, is still a legal requirement.