South Africa will reopen its international borders on 1 October 2020, under alert level 1 of lockdown.
President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement during a televised address to the nation on Wednesday evening.
While the country will move to alert level 1 of lockdown from midnight on Sunday 20 September 2020, international borders will only open up in October.
“We will be allowing travel into and out of South Africa for business, leisure and other travel with effect from 1 October 2020. This is subject to various containment and mitigation measures,” announced the President.
For international travel, government will place restrictions for travel to and from certain countries that have high infection rates. A list of countries will be published based on the latest scientific data.
Travellers will only be able to use one of the land border posts that have remained operational during the lockdown or one of the three main airports; King Shaka, OR Tambo or Cape Town International Airport.
On arrival, travellers will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result not older than 72 hours from time of departure.
Where a traveller has not done a COVID-19 test prior to departure, they will be required to remain in mandatory quarantine at their own cost.
All travellers will be screened on arrival and those presenting with symptoms will be required to remain in quarantine until a repeat COVID-19 test is conducted.
All travellers will be asked to install the COVID Alert South Africa mobile app.
“Countries that have used this type of app have been able to manage the Ccoronavirus pandemic quite effectively,” said the President.
SA missions open for visa applications
In preparation for the re-opening of borders, South African missions abroad will open for visa applications and all long-term visas will be reinstated.
“The tourism sector is one of our greatest economic drivers. We are ready to open our doors again to the world, and invite travellers to enjoy our mountains, our beaches, our vibrant cities and our wildlife game parks in safety and confidence,” said the President.
In the next few days, the updated regulations will be published and Ministers have been tasked with ironing out the details through briefings.