South Africa moved to Level 3 lockdown restrictions from 1 June 2020. Even though the restrictions in general have been relaxed somewhat, there are still restrictions on immigration, with no update on the concessions released previously. However, with the Level 3 restrictions now in force, some additional measures have been introduced regarding the movement of people across the country’s borders.


Key points:

  • The South African borders remain closed, with the exception of the movement of goods and the repatriation of citizens.
  • Only vessels carrying cargo will be allowed to call on South African ports and the ban on passenger vessels and cruise liners remains in force.
  • South African registered seafarers will be allowed to embark and disembark ships with a mandatory quarantine for those returning to the country.
  • Resumption of domestic air travel will be rolled out in three phases, with the number of flights per day being restricted. Domestic air travel for business purposes will be allowed.


The following airports will be allowed to open under the three phases:

Phase 1:

  • OR Tambo International Airport,
  • Cape Town International Airport,
  • King Shaka International Airport, and
  • Lanseria International Airport.

Phase 2:

  • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport,
  • Polokwane International Airport, and
  • Bram Fischer International Airport (Bloemfontein).

Phase 3:

  • Kimberley Airport,
  • Upington Airport,
  • East London Airport,
  • Umtata Airport, and
  • Port Elizabeth Airport.


Essential travel approved for South Africans wanting to return to countries where they are based

The Minister of Home Affairs has approved essential travel for South African nationals who want to return to the countries where they are usually based. During the current travel restrictions, travel between countries is allowed under special circumstances.

Key points:

  • South African nationals who would like to leave South Africa are permitted to, however, they are only allowed to depart for the following reasons:
    • Work
    • Study
    • Family reunion
    • To take up permanent residency
    • To receive medical attention
  • South African nationals who would like to return to the country where they reside should have the following:
    • A copy of their valid South African passport.
    • A letter confirming their admissibility under the current circumstances, from the embassy or other diplomatic/consular representative of the country to which they want to return.
    • Proof of travel planned and method of travel, such as air or bus ticket, which should state the intended date of departure.
    • The proof submitted should include permission from each transiting country, if returning by road or connecting via flights.

South Africans who satisfy the criteria and fall into the allowed categories must send an email to the Department of Home Affairs. Travelers that meet the criteria, will receive an email from Department with permission to proceed with their travel arrangements.


Taken from:

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