When does the lockdown period begin?

The lockdown comes into effect at midnight on the night of 26th.  In other words, the evening of Thursday 26th, morning of Friday 27th March.

Is Tourism classified as an essential service?

No, therefore will not be allowed to operate during lockdown period

How can I offer my hotel to be used as a quarantine site?

As per the Government Gazette,  the hotel industry is allowed to engage with the Department of Health and Department of Tourism to provide appropriate quarantine facilities. If you would like to submit the details of your establishment for consideration, Please visit:


Download the Excel form from the website.

Fill the form in with your information as per the fields requested in the form

Please email this completed form to accommodation@southafrica.net.

Please note that providing your information does not guarantee your establishment as a quarantine location

What establishments can legally be open during the lockdown period?

During the lockdown period, the following categories of establishments can remain open:

  • Those providing accommodation for international tourists who must remain in their hotels and persons providing essential services to these hotels.
  • Those who have been approved by the Department of Health as appropriate quarantine facilities.

No other accommodation establishments may continue operating during the lockdown period.

What is the treatment for Apart-Hotels/lodges/timeshares?

All accommodation establishments will not be allowed to operate during lockdown period.

Since some Apart-Hotels/lodges/timeshares have self catering facilities, they will be able to operate as Residential establishments and not as hotels. However there will be no hospitality service as all staff must be at their homes during lockdown.


Are car rentals an essential service?

No, therefore will not be allowed to operate during lockdown period

However, e-hailing services may be used – they are subject to the regulations of carrying 50% of the capacity of the vehicle.

What happens to tourists who have flights confirmed after the lockdown date?

All international and domestic flights are prohibited during the lockdown period.

International tourists must inform their respective embassy’s that they are still in South Africa and are not allowed to leave their hotel or accommodation establishments until such time their departure from South Africa has been confirmed.


Who pays for the cost of guests staying longer than anticipated in an establishment?

Guests will be liable to pay for their own costs and we encourage that they get in touch with their respective embassies in South Africa for further guidance.

What should hotels do if they have one or two international guests at their hotel who are awaiting their departure date?

We encourage hotels who are in the same group and are located near each other to consolidate guests into one hotel for ease of management and to immediately close all other hotels that are not occupied.

Independent hotels within close proximity of each other are encouraged to engage with each other to find the best way to consolidate international guests into one establishment and immediately close unoccupied establishments.

What is the process for assistance of business enterprises in distress?

The following has been announced:

UIF Guide in response to COVID-19:  visit the Dept of Labour website: www.labour.gov.za

Small Business Fund: visit the website: www.smmesa.gov.za

Solidarity Fund:  visit the website: www.solidarityfund.co.za

National Empowerment Fund: visit the website: www.nefcorp.co.za/covid-19-business-funding

What is the Tourism Relief Fund?


The Minister of Trade and Industry has published a special gazette outlining measures to offer relief to restaurants. 43134 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 24 MARCH 2020

The National Department of Tourism has made an additional R200 million available to assist SMEs in the tourism and hospitality sector who are under particular stress due to the new travel restrictions. This is amongst the interventions we believe will help to cushion our society from these economic difficulties. For more information visit the

Department of Tourism website:  https://www.tourism.gov.za

Department of Tourism:  Call Centre number = 0860 868 747


What special arrangements are being made for foreign travelers?

The Minister of Transport has issued a special dispensation to allow countries to charter aircrafts, with crew, to repatriate their travelers who must make the necessary arrangements with their embassies and consulates.

We are aware that there are further logistical and regulatory issues that must be addressed for the repatriation of these travelers to run smoothly and efficiently. We will share these with you as soon as we get clarification from the relevant government departments.



The German Embassy has issued an important update to their travellers who are currently in South Africa.  They are requesting all German travellers to contact them regarding arrangements for specific departure flights from South Africa over the next couple of weeks.  The request is to update and confirm travel dates on www.rueckholprogramm.de as per instructions which you can find on www.southafrica.diplo.de



The Consulate General of Switzerland has announced that a repatriation flight is planned for departure from Cape Town International Airport to Zurich on 3 April 2020 at 19h30, local time.  Travellers from Switzerland must check the website of the Consulate General of Cape Town for additional information (www.eda.admin.ch/capetown).

A link is available on the site which will allow individuals to register for this flight. Registration must be done before Wednesday, 1 April, at 12h00 (noon) local time.

Please note: Individuals who have already contacted the General Consulate in Cape Town or the Embassy in Pretoria earlier and voiced their wish to return, should register again, in order to ensure the completeness of personal information and uniformity of data.


United Kingdom

The British High Commission is requesting all British Nationals to contact them with their location and the assistance they require by emailing SouthAfricaBritishNationalReturns@fco.gov.uk or registering on the following link https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa


United States of America

The US Embassy in South Africa has announced that it is arranging charter flights to evacuate United States of America travellers stranded in the country. The embassy has set up a registration website for US travellers who want to leave on an evacuation flight, at https://za.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-2/