Renate Engelbrecht
Content producer
4 minute read
2 Jul 2021
12:08 pm

Level 4 travel: Here’s how you can go to Maldives but can’t leave Gauteng

Renate Engelbrecht

You can still travel abroad but not everywhere and you will need to be tested before departure.

Picture: iStock

President Ramaphosa announced on Sunday that South Africa was moving back to adjusted alert Level 4 Covid-19 regulations for at least 14 days.

But, according to the Flight Centre Travel Group, even though leisure travel in and out of Gauteng is prohibited, international travel is still permitted.

Travel restrictions

  • Traveling into and out of Gauteng is permitted for work only, or for the transport of goods, for funerals or to return home. Travelling for essential purposes under the adjusted Level 4 is allowed.
  • Travelers from elsewhere in the country may transit through Gauteng. They are also permitted to overnight in the province. However, they need to carry travel documents at all times.
  • International travel is permitted. All the usual Covid-19 protocols need to be adhered to. Upon your return to South Africa, you must present a negative Covid-19 test not older than 72 hours.
  • Travel between and within other provinces is allowed, subject to the national 9pm to 4am curfew.
  • All gatherings are prohibited.
  • Hotel restaurants and in house restaurants may only serve meals and non-alcoholic beverages off site. Alcohol may not be sold.

Andrew Stark, MD of the Flight Centre Travel Group, Middle East and Africa says: “We have received many queries regarding transiting through Gauteng, students returning to their place of residence or campus and international travel from the province.

“As the information stands and as outlined in the Government Gazette, passengers are allowed to travel internationally from Gauteng, or travel through Gauteng to their final destination. Of course, all protocols need to be strictly observed. In addition, even though travelers are allowed to travel to and from the airport during curfew, we can expect some changes to airline schedules over the coming weeks.”

Which international destinations are open to South Africans?

With things being rather unpredictable at this stage, it is good to know there are live platforms like this Covid-19 Travel Map from the Flight Centre Travel Group. Skyscanner.net also has a live platform providing travelers with the latest information on which countries are open for South Africans to travel to, which documents you might need and whether you will be required to quarantine.

No tests or quarantine needed

While Mexico, Costa Rica and Albania allow South African travelers to enter the country without having to quarantine and without having to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test before entering, most countries require South Africans to test before travel.

Read: Government dropped the ball on Covid-19 vaccines. Here’s why I won’t.

PCR test for Covid-19 before travelling

A PCR test is one of the travel requirements that is non-negotiable for most countries

Test and Travel

South Africans may enter the following countries, provided that the relevant country’s Covid-19 restrictions are adhered to. When you travel to these countries, in most cases you will be required to quarantine and they will need to see proof of a negative Covid-19 test no older than 72 days before you can enter. It is recommended that you double check the country’s requirements and restrictions.

  • Namibia
  • Mozambique
  • Zambia
  • Tanzania
  • Kenya
  • Uganda
  • Ivory Coast
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Burkina Faso
  • Egypt
  • Mali
  • Ghana
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sri Lanka
  • Afghanistan
  • Tajikistan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Armenia
  • Ukraine
  • Moldova
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Maldives

According to Flight Centre’s Covid-19 Travel Map, popular countries like Mauritius, Seychelles, US, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia and more are all still closed to South African travelers.

Covid-19 PCR Tests: What you need to know

According to Ampath Laboratories, the time samples are taken to the time you receive your Covid-19 test results could take up to 48 hours. To meet the travel time test requirements, you need to ensure that the date and time of your specimen collection, testing and reporting of your test results are within 72 hours of your departure date and time.

It recommends that you double check the specific country’s requirements as some countries require that the test be done as soon as 48 hours before departure. The 2021 Covid-19 PCR test from Ampath costs R850 including VAT. You can find an Ampath test site closest to you here.

Alternatively, you can also get tested through Corporate Traveller’s preferred Covid-19 testing partners:

  • VFS Global charges R925 for tests at the laboratory. It also does group bookings at your doorstep, charging R1,040 for a minimum of 5 people and R1,040 for a minimum of 10 people. Contact VFS by emailing covidtest.sa@vfshelpline.com or call 012 425 3053.
  • The Travel Doctor charges R1,150 for screening and certification. Email on info@traveldoctor.co.za or phone 010 900 3031.
  • You can also book a Covid-19 test with Mobilabs which charges a R500 call-out fee and R850 for a PCR lab test. Call on 087 350 2506.

You can find more information on the required business travel documents for traveling abroad during Alert Level 4 here.