Travel bans
(Constantine Johnny, Getty)
  • South Africa has banned travellers from ten countries, now including Switzerland, as high risk for Covid-19.
  • The list of three medium-risk countries remains unchanged. Travellers from those faced enhanced health screening.
  • Charter flights have been limited to airports with screening capabilities.
  • Here's the rundown on South Africa's current travel bans due to the novel coronavirus.
  • For more stories go to

* Last updated 20 March 2020

South Africa has extended its travel ban to Switzerland, now making for ten countries from which travellers to SA are not welcome.

The list is “subject to change in line with risk rating of the World Health Organisation”, according to regulations published on Wednesday, formalising the restrictions.

South African citizens and permanent residents will always be allowed to enter the country, regardless of their point of origin, under the rules.

See also: Our Covid-19 update, with everything important we know about the novel coronavirus in South Africa

The bans are in place indefinitely, and must be lifted by proclamation.

The high-risk countries, from which travellers are not welcome, are:

  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Iran
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • the United Kingdom
  • the United States of America

Travellers from medium-risk countries are subject to intense health screening. Those countries are:

  • Hong Kong
  • Portugal
  • Singapore

The travel regulations intended to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, under a state of disaster that came into force this week, also limit charter flights to airports with the ability to conduct health screenings. 

Those airports are:

  • Bram Fischer (Bloemfontein)
  • Cape Town
  • King Shaka (Durban)
  • Kruger Mpumalanga
  • Lanseria (Johannesburg)
  • OR Tambo (Johannesburg)
  • Pilanesberg
  • Polokwane
  • Port Elizabeth
  • Upington

Cargo flights remain permitted, but airplane crew from high-risk countries are subject to 21 days or quarantine.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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