The United States Department of State is strongly advising US citizens to reconsider any and all travel abroad, as it released updates to its travel advisories for a number of countries this week, including South Africa.
In a statement published on 20 April, The United States warned citizens against travelling to and from South Africa. Due to Covid-19 South Africa has received a level 4 travel warning. Other points of concern listed on the advisory include violent crime, armed robbery, rape, carjacking, mugging, and frequent demonstrations, protests, and strikes. The department said that the latest advisories do take into account logistical factors, including in-country testing availability and current travel restrictions for US citizens.
“This update will result in a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel, to approximately 80% of countries worldwide,” the statement reads.
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“This does not imply a reassessment of the current health situation in a given country, but rather reflects an adjustment in the State Department’s travel advisory system to rely more on Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s existing epidemiological assessments.”
“The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for South Africa due to Covid-19, indicating a very high level of Covid-19 in the country.”
Current Travel Restrictions on South Africa
Travel website Skyscanner’s handy mapping tool shows Covid-19 travel restrictions around the world using data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). As of this week, Skyscanner’s map shows that South Africa currently has 84 ‘major restrictions’ from other countries. The data is somewhat encouraging, as the current number is a decrease from last month’s 120 major restrictions on SA travellers.
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These 84 countries have either suspended travel, may be closed to entry, or entry may only be possible if you are a citizen/meet strict entrance requirements. Additionally, there are 68 countries (down from 94) with moderate restrictions on South Africa. Meaning travel is possible to these 68 countries but only if travellers meet certain entry requirements which can include taking Covid-19 tests.
Lastly, only two countries have ‘low-risk restrictions’ for South Africans, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. Here, travellers won’t have to face enforced quarantine periods.
View Skyscanner’s new mapping tool for more details on travel restrictions and find more trending content, right here.