South Africa Has Updated Their List Of Countries Eligible For International Tourism Arrivals From October 19, 2020

South Africa’s government has already opened the country to tourism again since October 1, 2020 and based on recent health situation updates the list of eligible countries has been updated yesterday.

As as October 19, 2020 there are only 22 countries on the red list who can’t enter South Africa but all remaining ones are clear to go if a visit to ZA is desired.

Many of the countries in central Europe such as German and Spain suddenly find themselves on the red list not being allowed to enter anymore following the steep rise in Covid cases while many others came off.

I first wrote about South Africa re-opening at the beginning of this month when the new requirements first kicked in but since then the situation progresses almost daily and countries continue to update their rules.

Business Insider South Africa has the most recent news about entry requirements:

South Africa’s red list, of countries from which tourists are not welcome, now stands at 22, down from an initial 60.

But still on the list are several countries that represent important markets for South Africa’s tourist offerings.

Countries on the African continent are automatically excluded from the list, and it does not apply to business travellers, or others who are not travelling for leisure, including diplomats and sportspeople.

It will now also no longer apply to longer-term visitors, the department of home affairs (DHA) said in a statement. …

“Most of them own properties in the country. We appreciate the significant economic contribution that they make through their activities in the country. To this end, we will also allow visitors, in whichever category, who are coming to stay for a three months period or more subject to Covid-19 protocols.”

If you already planned to visit South Africa then hopefully you’re still eligible to go as 22 countries are still on the list from where people are not allowed to visit (spending time there before the trip is what counts, not just nationality).

Here is the full list of high-risk countries, from which tourists may not visit South Africa, as of 19 October:

  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • The Netherlands
  • Peru
  • The Philippines
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States of America

Some countries suddenly ended up on the list after Covid made a comeback and ZA doesn’t deem the following origins safe anymore:

  • Bangladesh
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Indonesia
  • Italy
  • The Philippines
  • Spain

Tourists having spent time in either of these locations are now sol.

Previously the government has posted the following procedural chart on Twitter:

I’m not personally familiar with anyone who entered South Africa yet under these circumstances so if that’s your plan maybe search around the internet a bit, maybe you find someone who can say more about the arrivals procedure.


The influx of revenue from foreign tourists is important to South Africa which is a very popular destination for tourists from around the world but especially from Europe.

I’m surprised Canada is suddenly on the list. No matter how the list will look like, potential visitors will also take into account how the Covid-19 situation is in South Africa itself. Their overall count is still relatively high and if traveling to the country is a risk someone one wants to take on I guess that’s a personal decision. I would probably pass right now.

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