Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
2 minute read
22 Sep 2021
1:28 pm

Covid travel restrictions for South African travellers as of September 2021

Kaunda Selisho

Germany and the UK are among the destinations that recently adjusted Covid travel restrictions applicable to South African travellers.

Picture: iStock

Due to the changing lockdown levels, the country’s ongoing vaccination programme and changing global travel regulations, Covid travel restrictions applied to South African travellers are subject to constant change. 

According to Business Insider, Germany and the UK are among the destinations that recently adjusted Covid-19 travel restrictions applicable to South African travellers.

The adjusted requirements are as follows for select destinations: 


Although the French embassy strongly advises against traveling from France to countries on the red list such as South Africa, the country has generally eased Covid-19 travel restrictions to or from France by fully vaccinated travellers no matter where they’re coming from.


Entry to Australia remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 within the country. Travel to Australia is only available if you are exempt or you have been granted an individual exemption as its borders are currently closed.

Nigeria restricts passengers from SA over virus spread
Picture for illustration: iStock


Germany has removed South Africa from its list of high-risk countries. This is good news for travellers from South Africa as going via Germany gives them ease of access into the EU’s Schengen region subject to certain time periods spent within a region. 

“However, some Covid travel restrictions do remain in place, and travellers aged 12 years or older must hold proof of being vaccinated or tested upon entering Germany,” added Business Insider

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Spanish authorities consider South Africa a “high risk” country. Despite this, travel into Spain is permitted, and travellers should expect mandatory testing and quarantine requirements.

New Zealand

Entry to New Zealand from all countries remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. South Africans are expected to go through managed isolation if they are allowed entry.


Chinese citizens and foreign passengers travelling from or transiting through South Africa must apply for “Green Health Codes” by submitting their Covid-19 negative certificates for nucleic acid tests to Chinese embassies or consulates.

United Kingdom

The UK’s restrictions are strict. They are currently allowing entry into the country by British or Irish Nationals or people who have residence rights in the UK if the traveller in question has been to a red list country 10 days prior to arrival.

United States

Only people that qualify for the NIE visa exception are allowed entry into the US under the current Covid travel restrictions.

The US also requires all air passengers entering the country to present a negative Covid-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days​. 

Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recovery for all passengers two years of age and over before boarding.