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Covid-19 Level 1 FAQ’s

Below is all the information available to Core Travel dated 12 October 2020. Details may change and it is advised that all travellers contact Core Travel at the time of booking and prior to travel.

Further information is available on the SA Corona virus official website

Which International Ports are Open?

Johannesburg’s OR Tambo, Durban’s King Shaka and Cape Town International Airports are the only airports that will allow international air travel to arrive or depart.

All commercial seaports will be opened.

The 35 land borders that were closed during the previous lockdown levels will remain closed.

The 18 land borders which were partially operational during the previous lockdown levels will be fully operational (i.e. allow passage of South Africans and permitted foreign nationals). These include:

COUNTRY PORT HOURS CONTACT
Zimbabwe Beitbridge Bridge 24 hours Tel & Fax: (015) 530 0070
Eswatini Oshoek 07:00 – 22:00 Tel: (017) 882 0138/9
Fax: (017) 819 3481
Eswatini Mahamba 07:00 – 22:00 Tel: (017) 826 0076
Fax: 017) 826 0077
Eswatini Mananga 07:00 – 18:00 Tel: (013) 790 7075
Fax: (013) 790 0077
Eswatini Golela 07:00 – 22:00 Tel: (034) 435 1070
Fax: (034) 435 1048
Eswatini Jeppes Reef 07:00 – 20:00 Tel: (013) 781 0382
Fax: (013) 781 0383
Namibia Nakop 24 hours Tel: (054) 571 0008 / 0077
Fax: (054) 571 0009
Namibia Vioolsdrift 24 hours Tel: (027) 761 8760
Fax: (027) 761 8931
Mozambique Lebombo 06:00 – 00:00 Tel: (013) 793 7311
Fax: (013) 793 7091
Lesotho Caledonspoort 06:00 – 22:00 Tel: (058) 223 8400
Fax:( 058) 223 1012
Lesotho Ficksburg Bridge 24 hours Tel:( 051) 933 2760
Fax: (051) 933 4540
Lesotho Maseru Bridge 24 hours Tel: (051) 924 4300
Fax: (051) 924 4000
Lesotho Quacha’s Nek 06:00 – 22:00 Tel: (039) 256 4391
Fax: (051) 633 1099
Lesotho Van Rooyens Gate 06:00 – 22:00 Tel: (051) 583 1525
Fax: (051) 583 1530
Botswana Groblersbrug 08:00 – 22:00 Tel: (014) 767 1019
Fax: (014) 767 1264
Botswana Kopfontein 06:00 – 24:00 Tel: (018) 365 9055
Fax: (018) 365 9026
Botswana Ramatlabama 06:00 – 22:00 Tel: (018) 390 2533
Fax: (018) 393 0334
Botswana Skilpadshek 06:00 – 24:00 Tel: (018) 366 0011
Fax: (018) 366 0012

Compiled from cross-referencing the list of all ports of entry with the list of closed ports

Where can I find a list of international embassies and consulates in South Africa?

Should a foreign national require assistance in South Africa, a list of all foreign representation in South Africa is available on the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s website. Diplomatic missions are listed alphabetically by country name.

Where can I find a list of South African embassies and consulates abroad?

Should a South African or foreign national require assistance abroad (e.g. returning home, visa purposes, etc.), a list of all South African representation abroad is available on the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s website. South African missions abroad are listed alphabetically by the country in which they are located. The individual websites for these embassies, high commissions and consulates abroad are also listed here.

What happens if a traveller arrives at a port of entry without a certified negative PCR test?

In a statement from the government, issued on 8 October, the following procedure was outlined for travellers arriving at a port of entry without a certified negative PCR test:

  1. The traveller will be screened for signs and symptoms on arrival.
  2. Upon failure to produce a certified PCR test result, the traveller will be directed to a testing facility at the port of entry.
  3. A staff member from NHLS will conduct an antigen test immediately.
  4. Travellers must be prepared to pay for the antigen test out of pocket (approximately ZAR 150-170) and can claim the fees from their health insurance service provider (pending the relevant insurance agreement).
  5. If the traveller tests negative, they will be allowed to proceed through the port of entry, provided they have been cleared of red flags at the screening phase.
  6. If the traveller tests positive, they will be required to quarantine at a facility designated by that particular port of entry. They will not be permitted to travel across provinces. Contacts of a traveller testing positive at the point of entry, including those who were in proximity of the traveller within the conveyance, will also be tracked and traced.
  7. Travellers who arrive without a certified PCR test and who refuse to test at the port of entry will not be permitted entry and will be required to quarantine at a designated facility.

 

It is unlikely that the intention of government is for the antigen test to replace the PCR test certificate, as it appears to be directed more for cross-border travel (e.g. travellers from Lesotho where PCR testing capacity is lacking). Therefore, until otherwise directed, international airlines will still require the PCR test certificate before boarding flights to South Africa.

We are seeking further clarity on this procedure to ensure that travellers who are safe to enter, are able to do so without unnecessary burden, as well as assessing what this means for overland travel between South Africa and neighbouring countries.

Who requires a visa to enter South Africa?

Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing on 30 September stated that foreign national arrivals from low- and medium-risk countries will be subject to the prevailing visa requirements.

The Department of Home Affairs since reinstated the visa exemption status of the citizens of the following countries which had been revoked at the commencement of the COVID-19 lockdown in March: South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, UK, France, Portugal, and Iran.

This means that nationals of these countries (with the exception of leisure travellers from high-risk countries) are free to visit South Africa, subject to complying with the applicable regulations and health protocols. Airlines may board passport holders of these countries without a visa in line with their visa exemption status before the lockdown period.

The Department of Home Affairs will resume visa services, including submission of applications through VFS Global, for the following categories: 

  • Visitor’s visas
  • Study visas
  • Treaty visas
  • Business visas
  • Crew visas
  • Medical treatment visas
  • Relative visas
  • General work visas
  • Critical skills visas
  • Intra-company transfer visas
  • Retired person visas
  • Corporate visas
  • Exchange visas
  • Waiver of a prescribed requirement  
  • Appeal or review against a decision on an application for a temporary residence visa 

 

Explanation of these visa categories can be found on the Department of Home Affairs websitePlease note that any mention of countries and exemptions on this page is outdated and this should only be used as a resource to gather additional information about the visa category.  

Visa services, including applications for a visitor’s visa, will also be rendered at the South African Missions abroad. 

Can an arrival self-quarantine upon entry rather than go to a designated quarantine facility?

We are still awaiting confirmation on this point to clarify under what conditions it is possible for South Africans and foreign nationals to self-quarantine, and whether or not the application for self-quarantine is still required. However, self-quarantine for South Africans should be allowed.

At the briefing on 30 September, it was stated: Travellers will have to provide proof of accommodation addresses in case they need to self-isolate at the time of arrival in the country. If they show symptoms and indicate that they have a booking in a hotel or accommodation that is of a character that allows for self-isolation, that traveller would be allowed to enter the country, provided they undergo the required quarantine period.

The character spoken of above refers to the accommodation or place of residence having access to the following:

  • Separate bedroom with an on-suite bathroom and toilet that is not shared with another person
  • Prepared meals to be served in the room preferably in disposable utensils alternatively separated and washed properly. 
  • Support from friends or family that can facilitate the drop off of food and medicine at the gate if they are not able to make use of online shopping facilities and contactless deliveries. 
  • Access to a thermometer that will allow for the monitoring of temperature daily. 
  • Access to the internet either through my phone or computer to allow reporting symptoms daily. 
  • Access to a private physician that he or she can contact should he or she be in need of medical advice or care. 
  • No visitors are permitted to visit the quarantined person.
Is entry based on country of citizenship, residence, or where an individual has last visited?

Entry into South Africa for foreign nationals is based on where the traveller has spent the previous 10 days.   

If the passport of a foreign national traveller from a high-risk country indicates that they have spent 10 days or more in a low-risk country before departure to South Africa, they will be considered to be arriving from a low-risk country and subject to the low-risk entry requirements. (Note that this point was announced in Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing on 30 September, but has not appeared in a government gazette as of yet.)

We are still awaiting clarity on how travellers can prove they have spent 10 days in a low-risk country in cases where there is not a passport stamp to indicate as much (e.g. passports are not stamped between EU countries).

Also note that transit through high-risk countries, where the traveller does not pass through immigration, is allowed, subject to the prescribed entry requirements. The restriction applies to travellers originating from a high-risk country.

South African citizens and permanent and temporary residents will be allowed to enter South Africa, whether or not they are travelling from or through a high-risk country, and will be subject to the prescribed entry requirements (i.e. valid and negative COVID-19 PCR test result). 

What are the requirements to enter South Africa?
  • All arrivals must present a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, obtained not more than 72 hours (3 days) from the time of departure to South Africa, from an accredited laboratory.
  • All arrivals will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms and/or for contact with people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.  
  • Should the traveller display any COVID-19–related symptoms or have been in contact with an infected person, they will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test. This test will be at the traveller’s cost. If the COVID-19 test comes back positive, the traveller will be subjected to quarantine at a designated site, at the traveller’s cost. 
  • All arrivals must provide proof of accommodation address (or place of residence) should they need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country.* 
  • All arrivals will be asked to download the COVID Alert South Africa mobile app. Information on the app can be found here.*
  • All foreign national arrivals are subject to the prevailing visa requirements. Foreign national arrivals from high-risk countries may enter with an application in compliance with the business travel exemptions laid out by the government, in addition to the prevailing visa requirements.
  • All foreign national arrivals must have travel insurance that covers the cost of any testing or quarantine.* 

 

*Note that these points were included in Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing on 30 September, but have not appeared in government gazettes as of yet and we are seeking further clarity and confirmation.

PLEASE PRINT OUT ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS to present at check-in before boarding your flight to South Africa.

What are the requirements to enter South Africa?
  • All arrivals must present a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, obtained not more than 72 hours (3 days) from the time of departure to South Africa, from an accredited laboratory.
  • All arrivals will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms and/or for contact with people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.  
  • Should the traveller display any COVID-19–related symptoms or have been in contact with an infected person, they will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test. This test will be at the traveller’s cost. If the COVID-19 test comes back positive, the traveller will be subjected to quarantine at a designated site, at the traveller’s cost. 
  • All arrivals must provide proof of accommodation address (or place of residence) should they need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country.* 
  • All arrivals will be asked to download the COVID Alert South Africa mobile app. Information on the app can be found here.*
  • All foreign national arrivals are subject to the prevailing visa requirements. Foreign national arrivals from high-risk countries may enter with an application in compliance with the business travel exemptions laid out by the government, in addition to the prevailing visa requirements.
  • All foreign national arrivals must have travel insurance that covers the cost of any testing or quarantine.* 

 

*Note that these points were included in Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing on 30 September, but have not appeared in government gazettes as of yet and we are seeking further clarity and confirmation.

PLEASE PRINT OUT ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS to present at check-in before boarding your flight to South Africa.

Does the COVID-19 certificate need to be signed by a doctor?
  • Although it appeared in Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing on 30 September that the certificate must have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such test, this requirement does not yet appear in a gazette (and is therefore not law). The gazette only stipulates that the test must be from an accredited laboratory and in line with the World Health Organization requirements.

    The gazette further stipulates that South African Authorities reserve the right to verify the authenticity of presented PCR or COVID-19 test certificates.

Are there exceptions for travel to and from SADC countries?
  • The regulations stipulate that business persons providing services across the borders of SADC are allowed multiple entry, provided they can produce a certificate of negative COVID-19 test result not older than 72 hours from the time of departure. This certificate is valid for 14 days.This regulation appears to be written for travellers from SADC initially entering SA (therefore needing a 72 hour PCR test on arrival), and then being permitted to depart and re-enter (multiple times) on the same test for up to 14 days. However, it should likewise apply for South Africans exiting and re-entering from SADC on the same COVID-19 test (not older than 14 days from the time of departure).

    It is our understanding that this does not currently apply to leisure travellers within the SADC.

Is transit through high-risk countries allowed?
  • Yes, transit through high-risk countries, where the traveller does not pass through immigration, is allowed, subject to the prescribed entry requirements. The restriction applies to travellers originating from a high-risk country.
Are temporary residents allowed to enter South Africa from high-risk countries?
  • Individuals with valid temporary residence permits will be permitted to enter South Africa, regardless of whether they are travelling from a high-risk country, and provided they meet all other entry requirements.

    It should also be noted that the Department of Home Affairs is extending the validity of legally issued visas which expired during lockdown until 31 January 2021. This pertains to visa holders currently in South Africa who will be allowed to remain in the country under the terms of their visa. From now until 31 January, they will also be able to depart South Africa on an expired visa without being declared ‘undesirable’. However, it is unlikely that they would then be allowed to return to South Africa on the same (expired) visa.

What happens if the country in which I’m travelling suddenly moves from low-risk to high-risk?
  • Airlines from high-risk countries are not banned. Only leisure travellers coming from high-risk countries are prohibited from entering South Africa. South African citizens, permanent and temporary residents, travellers from Africa, medium- and low-risk countries, and business travellers from high-risk countries (having made an application to the Department of Home Affairs) are permitted to enter South Africa, subject to the prescribed entry requirements.Also note that transit through high-risk countries, where the traveller does not pass through immigration, is allowed, subject to the prescribed entry requirements. The restriction applies to travellers originating from a high-risk country.

    According to Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing on 30 September, entry into South Africa will be based on where the traveller’s passport shows they have spent the last 10 days.

    We are also still awaiting clarity on how travellers can prove they have spent 10 days in a low-risk country in cases where there is not a passport stamp to indicate as such (e.g. passports are not stamped between EU countries).

Which countries currently accept South African travellers?

This information will be constantly in flux as countries update entry requirements based on infection rates and reciprocity. The most reliable and up-to-date information will be found from the source. Here are examples of official websites:

 

IATA’s COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map is also regularly updated with restrictions per country. However, it is still best to double-check this information against what is available from official government sources as IATA cannot guarantee total accuracy given the ever-changing nature of the international response to COVID-19.

Are South Africans allowed to travel to and from high-risk countries?

The regulations allow for South Africans to travel to any country in the world for leisure or corporate, provided the destination country has given them permission to do so.  

South Africans do not need a COVID-19 test to depart from South Africa (only if it is a requirement of the destination country, in which case they will be asked to provide this to the airline before boarding).  

South African citizens and permanent residents will always be allowed to return home, whether or not they are travelling from or through a high-risk country. Upon return to South Africa, they must comply with the same entry requirements imposed on all arrivals: 

  • A valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, obtained not more than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa.
  • Failure to present proof of a valid and negative test will require the traveller to quarantine at the traveller’s cost. 
  • Upon arrival in the port of entry, the traveller will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms and/or for contact with people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus. 
  • Returning South Africans may have to provide proof of residence and/or accommodation address should they need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country, subject to the criteria for self-quarantine. 
  • Should the traveller display any COVID-19–related symptoms or have been in contact with an infected person, they will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test. This test will be at the traveller’s cost. If the COVID-19 test comes back positive, the traveller will be subjected to quarantine at a designated site, at the traveller’s cost. 
  • All travellers will be asked to download the COVID Alert South Africa mobile app. Information on the app can be found here
Do South Africans require a COVID-19 test prior to departing South Africa?ies?

South Africans (citizens and residents), as well as foreign national travellers, do not require a COVID-19 test to depart South Africa. However, it may be a requirement of some airlines and countries of destination.

At the airport, travellers will be screened and anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will be prohibited from boarding. Travellers departing South Africa should also bring with them a completed exit screening questionnaire

Any additional requirements will be stipulated by the airline and/or country of destination. The airline is responsible to ensure that all passengers comply with the COVID-19 requirements of entry for the country of destination before boarding and will not allow passengers to board who do not meet these requirements.  

This information will be constantly in flux as countries update entry requirements based on infection rates and reciprocity. The most reliable and up-to-date information will be found from the source (i.e. official government and consular websites).  

IATA’s COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map is also regularly updated with restrictions per country. However, it is still best to double-check this information against what is available from official government sources as IATA cannot guarantee total accuracy given the ever-changing nature of the international response to COVID-19. 

Travellers should also be aware that testing may be conducted at some international airports. 

Where can I get tested in South Africa before I travel?

There are over 200 testing sites across South Africa. PathcareLancet and Ampath all list their testing sites per province along with address, contact information and operating hours. The cost for a Covid-19 test in South Africa is R850 and results take 48-72 hours to process depending on patient priority.

What can I expect when flying to South Africa?

Passengers flying to South Africa should allow extra time for check-in and screening at the airport. It is the responsibility of the airline to ensure that all passengers have the required documentation and meet the requirements to enter South Africa (as well as any other destination country).

For flights to South Africa, the airline will check that passengers have a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, obtained not more than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa; a valid visa to enter South Africa, if applicable; and travel insurance for foreign nationals. (Although travel insurance was mentioned by the minister in the recent briefing, it has not been gazetted. Until it appears in a government gazette, it officially cannot be enforced, but airlines may still ask for it nonetheless. We are seeking further clarity on this point.)

Please print out all required documents to present at check-in before boarding your flight to South Africa to help prevent delays.

On the plane, all passengers will be given a health declaration form to complete. The form asks where passengers have been for the last 14 days (However, as stated in Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing, entry will be based on where the traveller has spent the last 10 days. We are seeking further clarity on how travellers can prove their travel record e.g. where passports are not stamped between EU countries.)

As passengers disembark, there will be officers standing by to collect the COVID-19 test certificates. At passport control, the health declaration forms will be collected and the immigration officer will ask to see your passport and visa, if applicable.

Will airlines be permitted to land in South Africa from high-risk countries?

Airlines from high-risk countries will be permitted to land. Airline crew will be required to isolate in facilities at designated accommodation at the cost of their employer. 

Only leisure travellers coming from high-risk countries are prohibited from entering South Africa. South African citizens, permanent and temporary residents; travellers from Africa, medium- and low-risk countries; and business travellers from high-risk countries are all permitted to enter South Africa, subject to the prescribed entry requirements.

What airports are open for domestic air travel in South Africa?

The following airports are open to domestic air travel in South Africa: 

  • Bram Fischer International Airport
  • Cape Town International Airport**
  • East London Airport
  • George Airport
  • Hoedspruit Airport
  • Kimberly Airport
  • King Shaka International Airport**
  • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
  • Lanseria International Airport
  • Margate Airport
  • Mthatha Airport
  • OR Tambo International Airport**
  • Phalaborwa Airport
  • Pietermaritzburg Airport
  • Plettenberg Bay Airport
  • Polokwane Airport
  • Port Elizabeth International Airport
  • Richards Bay Airport
  • Sishen Airport
  • Skukuza Airport
  • Upington International Airport

 

**Additionally open to international air travel  

Passengers should arrive at the airport at least two hours before a domestic flight to ensure enough time is allocated for screening and operational procedures. Only ticket holders will be admitted to the terminal building. Security staff will check tickets and temperatures at the entrance and persons with a temperature higher than 38 degrees will not be permitted to enter. Masks must be worn and social distancing of 1,5 metres must be adhered to at all times in the airport.

Prior to your flight, it is advised that travellers complete the corresponding screening questionnaires from the Department of Health:  

Which airlines are operating flights to and from South Africa?
  • Each airline will have its own threshold for flying to and from South Africa based on demand for seats—which need to be filled on both inbound and outbound legs. For this reason, we may see that not all airlines immediately begin flying to South Africa. Schedules may remain in flux for some time to come as countries, including South Africa, continuously update their list of permitted countries and entry requirements based on infection rates, which will have an impact demand.

    SATSA will update its website with airline information as and when it becomes available.

    Specific ticket enquiries will need to be taken up with the respective airline.

Do travellers from Africa have to produce a COVID-19 test on arrival?
  • Yes, all travellers from Africa will have to produce a valid certificate from an accredited laboratory of a negative COVID-19 PCR test not older than 72 hours, at all ports of entry. This includes South Africans (re-)entering the country.

    However, the regulations stipulate that business persons providing services across the borders of SADC are allowed multiple entry, provided they can produce a COVID-19 PCR test result not older than 72 hours from the time of departure. This certificate is valid for 14 days.

    This regulation appears to be written for travellers from SADC initially entering South Africa (therefore needing a 72 hour PCR test result on arrival), and then being permitted to depart and re-enter (multiple times) on the same test for up to 14 days.

    However, it should likewise apply for South Africans exiting and re-entering within SADC, for the purposes of business, on the same COVID-19 test (not older than 14 days from the time of departure). It is our understanding that this does not currently apply to leisure travellers within SADC.

    We are seeking further clarity and confirmation all aspects of this issue.

What is the exception for business travellers from high-risk countries?
  • Exceptions will be made for business travellers with scarce and critical skills including diplomats, repatriated persons, investors and people participating in professional sporting and cultural events.

    Business travellers must apply, in writing, to the Minister of Home Affairs and demonstrate reasons for their request to enter South Africa. This application must be sent to Covid19BusinessTravel@dha.gov.za and include:

    1. a copy of passport and/or temporary residence visa;
    1. proof of business activities to be undertaken in South Africa;
    1. proof of travel itinerary; and
    1. proof of address or accommodation in South Africa.

     

    Home Affairs is endeavouring to reply within 5 to 10 working days, but we understand they are receiving a high volume of requests and many applicants are awaiting replies at the moment. We are seeking further confirmation on this process and have received reports from applicants to try these additional email addresses:

    Covid19Exceptions@dha.gov.za

    HACC@dha.gov.za

    Modiri.Matthews@dha.gov.za

    Stephen.vanNeel@dha.gov.za

    Veronica.Loving@dha.gov.za

    Shabnam.Karachi@dha.gov.za

    Ronney.Marhule@dha.gov.za

    Upon arrival in South Africa, business travellers from high-risk countries will be subject to the prescribed screening procedure and must present documentation of the above application with a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel.

Is transit through South African airports allowed?
  • Transit travellers, who are booked on one ticket and do not pass customs, are allowed to connect to their destinations through South Africa by air. They must comply with the applicable health protocols, but do not need to produce the certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test.

    If a passenger in transit displays COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival at a South African airport, they will not be allowed to board their flight and will undergo primary and secondary screening, including repeat COVID-19 testing. If a positive test result is obtained, they will be quarantined at their own cost.

Are suppliers changing their cancellation and booking policies?
  • Each supplier (airline, tour operator, etc.) will have its own change and cancellation policies, and many are being more lenient when it comes to deposits or postponements. As a consumer, if you are in a position to postpone rather than cancel, you not only help the supplier and several players along the value chain, but you also keep something to look forward to and don’t have to compromise on your expectations.

    Be sure to read and understand all the terms and conditions of your ticket or booking upfront so that there are no surprises down the line.

Do returning South Africans require travel insurance to re-enter South Africa?
  • Although it is obviously recommended that South African travellers take out travel insurance, the issue of insurance is currently not gazetted and is therefore not yet law. Moreover, many insurance companies currently don’t have existing insurance that covers the requirements as mentioned by the government in their briefings.

    It is also our understanding that the requirement to have travel insurance that covers the cost of COVID-19 testing and quarantine applies only to foreign national travellers entering South Africa. South Africans (citizens and residents) who do not have travel insurance with these covers should be permitted to enter the country.

How do I pick a travel insurance policy?
  • Be sure to check the requirements of your travel destinations as some, like South Africa and Brazil, are requiring that foreign national arrivals have COVID-19 travel insurance. (However, in the case of South Africa, this requirement for travel insurance appeared in Minister Naledi Pandor’s briefing on 30 September but has not been gazetted and we are seeking further clarity on this issue.)Travel insurance policies will differ based on factors such as your age, the length of your trip, and what you want to be covered. A standard insurance policy may cover cancellation for events such as the sudden bankruptcy of a travel company, unexpected illness, or a natural disaster or unrest in the destination.When looking for travel insurance that covers COVID-19-related events, consider the following:
    • Travel medical: cover your expenses if you or a travel companion, such as your spouse or child, contract COVID-19 while travelling and require medical care or evacuation.
    • Trip cancellation: cover any expenses incurred as a result of cancelling your trip prior to departure because you, or someone you care for, contracted COVID-19.
    • Trip delay: cover any expenses incurred as a result of changing COVID-19 regulations e.g. travel bans.

     

    Also note that most travel insurances will not cover disinclination or fear to travel. The exception is ‘cancel for any reason’ (CFAR) insurance. This is usually available as an optional upgrade to a standard travel insurance plan and may cost up to 50% more than a standard plan. It typically needs to be purchased within one to three weeks from the time you booked your trip or made the initial deposit, and you must cancel your travel 48 hours prior to departure. Often available in two tiers, CFAR insurance can cover you for 50-75% of your total travel costs. However, CFAR is not yet a common insurance product in South Africa.

    Know that there is no-size-fits-all travel insurance plan and each additional cover comes at a cost. Whichever you choose, be sure to read the full insurance contract before buying to check whether it covers specifics like quarantine, testing, and flight disruptions.

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