Should I delay my travels to South Africa until after the third wave?
As with the rest of the world, there is no indication of whether and if yes, when additional surges will occur. South Africa’s second wave occurred in December-January, followed by a sharp decline in COVID cases. In April, the average for 30 days was 1,080 positive cases per day, with a recovery rate of 95,3% and an average of 52 deaths per day over 30 days. Level 1 Regulations include stringent non-pharmaceutical interventions which have largely shown to be successful in managing the spread of COVID-19 in all urban and real areas across the country.
Will I get a refund if I get sick prior to travel? or, sick while travelling?
The terms and conditions of all third-party suppliers differ. We would advise you to check with your tour operator, travel agent or the third-party supplier what their specific COVID T&Cs are with regards to cancellations and refunds specifically related to COVID.
Is my deposit safe with suppliers?
The terms and conditions of all third-party suppliers differ. We would advise you to check with your tour operator, travel agent or the third-party supplier what their specific T&Cs are with regards to deposits, cancellations and refunds.
Are restaurants fully operational?
Restaurants are fully open, however are subject to a curfew between midnight and 4am. Restaurants are complying with health and hygiene protocols, including registering patrons as they arrive – their name, contact details and temperature. Under existing Level 1 regulations, restaurants are allowed to serve liquor, but are required to limit numbers of patrons to 50% of the available floor space.
If I get COVID while on safari – can I stay at the lodge?
This depends on the lodge itself. Lodges have different policies and abilities with regards to whether a guest that tests positive while staying can stay. Please check with your DMC, Tour Operator or Travel Agent what the policy specific to the lodge you’re travelling to is.
What happens if my guide gets COVID?
If your guide is diagnosed with COVID, you will be required to undergo testing to ascertain whether you are positive. While you await the results of the PCR test (24-48hrs), you will have to self-isolate at your accommodation.
What happens if I get COVID while in South Africa?
If you are diagnosed with COVID while you’re in South Africa, you will be required to self isolate at your accommodation if your symptoms are not severe. If your symptoms escalate, you will be admitted to a medical facility for care. South Africa’s medical facilities are generally of a high quality and provide world-class medical care.
How do the active cases and recoveries in South Africa compare with other countries
The number of active cases in South Africa has dropped dramatically in 3 months. Since mid-January, confirmed Covid-19 infections in South Africa have fallen from a record of nearly 22,000 a day to around 1,000, without a large-scale vaccination campaign or stringent lockdown. Fewer than 5% of Covid-19 tests are finding traces of the virus, a sign that health agencies are missing fewer cases. The government has lifted most of its remaining virus restrictions for the country of 60 million people.
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What are the medical and healthcare facilities like in South Africa
Healthcare facilities in South Africa are world class, with public and private hospitals and clinics available countrywide. Private-sector hospitals provide excellent medical care for a fee. Private groups include Netcare Hospitals, Medicross and LIFE Healthcare.
What is the COVID-Alert App
The COVID-Alert APP alerts subscribers and provides relevant information if they have been in contact with any person who has tested positive for the virus. The APP helps to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. We request all international travellers who intend to visit the country to download the APP so that they can monitor and minimise their risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus. You can download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Additional Resources: https://www.gov.za/covid-19/resources/infographics/covid-alert-sa-app
How easy is it to get your PCR test in South Africa
PCR testing is widely available in South Africa. Several private laboratories offer PCR testing, including Lancet and Pathcare. There are also testing facilities at OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport. There are also concierge testing services that visit the hotel, lodge, etc to administer PCR testing on site for the convenience of guests. See details alongside.
Concierge testing: email@example.com
Are crowded beaches responsible for spreading COVID?
According to leading scientists, the chance of a super-spreader incident among the crowded beaches is minimal in theory – and nonexistent in practice. Also bear in mind that if people are barred from congregating outside, they are more likely to do so indoors, where the risks are greater.
Is South Africa Travel Ready?
As a low-density travel destination, with excellent medical and healthcare facilities, excellent weather, wide open travel experiences and generally low population densities, allowing for comfortable outdoors time year round, South Africa is an attractive destination for travellers who are seeking an affordable COVID-friendly getaway. Our tourism facilities and services have also put in place world-class health and hygiene protocols to safeguard staff and guests, we have legislated non-pharmaceutical interventions such as restricting the level of patronage in restaurants, wearing masks, hand and surface sanitising, social distancing, etc.
What regulations / requirements are in place to visit South Africa?
All arrivals to South Africa (South Africans and foreign nationals) must present a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, obtained not more than 72 hours before the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. An immunity passport, risk-free certificate, or passport immunity in respect of COVID-19 is not yet acceptable. If someone should present with symptons on arrival,self-quarantine will be allowed for South African residents and foreign nationals with approved accommodation. Travellers will have to provide proof of accommodation addresses if 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. If a traveller arrives in South Africa and exhibits symptoms, they will not be allowed to board a connecting flight without first undergoing a COVID-19 test and receiving a negative result. If the test comes back positive, the traveller will not be allowed to continue their journey but will need to do a 10-day quarantine at a designated site.
Additonal Resources: https://www.cogta.gov.za/index.php/2016/06/01/acts/
What is the situation regarding vaccinations in South Africa?
South Africa’s rollout of the vaccine will take a three-phase approach that begins with the most vulnerable in the population. The target is to vaccinate 67% of the population by the end of 2021. To start with, SA aims to vaccinate around 1.25 million people against Covid-19 by the end of March after starting its roll out of Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J’s) vaccines in February for health-care workers. It has also secured 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and nine million from J&J with further 12 million vaccines to be supplied via COVAX. Phase two will target 16,6 million people including essential workers, people in congregate settings, people over 60 years old and people over 18 with co-morbidities. The third phase will target the rest of the population over 18 years old, estimated at 22,5 million people. We have sourced enough vaccines for this.
Additional Resources: https://www.gov.za/covid-19-coronavirus-vaccine-frequently-asked-questions
Is the situation on the ground as bad as they’re saying in the media?
In spite of the reputation of this new variant, South Africa has had a far smaller second wave (peak rate of new infections per 100 000) than most generating countries with an upwards curve that was less steep than many and a now a rate of new infections (per 100 000) less than most countries. The rates of increase in infections – increase in 7-day rolling average of new infections – was the same in South Africa for the 1st and 2nd waves – the second wave did not spread faster.
What are South Africa’s credentials in the medical / scientific community
South Africa is also internationally renowned for its world-class medical expertise – a reputation that was thrust in the spotlight recently with the unfortunate attribution of the term “South African Variant” to describe a variant first identified by South African scientists in South Africa. Our scientists are world leaders in genomic surveillance and were able to identify a variant within weeks of getting the first sample. This quick action, plus collaboration with the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation has enabled other countries, like the United Kingdom, to identify more variants. Furthermore, leading the charge against COVID in South Africa is none other than Professor Salim Abdool Karim, an infectious disease specialist, who along with Dr Antony Fauci was awarded the John Maddox Prize in recognition of their exemplary work as government advisors on health and communicating the complex and changing science of COVID-19. Along with being one of a few countries worldwide which leads in the field of genomic surveillance, South Africa also has advanced medical facilities, certainly offering the highest standard of healthcare across Africa.
Is the 501Y.V2 variant first diagnosed in South Africa a mutant virus that spreads faster and kills more people?
New SARS-CoV2 variants will continue to emerge for as long as the epidemic continues. Before the discovery of 501Y.V2 in South Africa, around 30 different variants were circulating globally. Viruses mutate; they change continuously and try to adapt. Leading scientists confirm that there is no evidence that the South Africa variant causes more serious illness for the vast majority of people who become infected. There is no evidence that the South Africa variant causes more serious illness for the vast majority of people who become infected. As with the original version, the risk is highest for people who are elderly or have significant underlying health conditions. It should also be highlighted that the term “South African Variant” is not one that is attributed because this variant originated in South Africa. Rather, the naming convention used to name variants is based on where it is first discovered. South African scientists are among those leading the charge in actively looking for variants to assist the global community with its research to combat the spread of COVID.
Addittional Resources: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-55534727
Will I be safe when I travel to South Africa?
We are ensuring the safety of visitors through the continued and consistent implementation of the protocols that have been devised by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) for all tourism business and facilities. Non-pharmaceutical measures, such as mandatory wearing of masks, social distancing, ventilated spaces and reducing the number of guests in venues have all been legislated to ensure that we prevent the super-spreading instances that are largely responsible for the spread of COVID-19.
Additional Resources – https://travelsafeeatsafe.co.za/