COVID-19 Information (Updated May 27, 2020 | 10:30 SAST)

Country-Specific Information

The South African Ministry of Health has confirmed
23,615 cases of COVID-19 within its borders. 

If you are an American citizen in South Africa desiring more information on prospective travel to the United States, please ensure you are enrolled in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at for the most current information affecting U.S. citizens in South Africa.  The U.S. Mission to South Africa’s American Citizen Services will push any updates to the public by email through STEP, which is the U.S. Department of State’s central platform for mass email communication. Even if you have previously emailed the U.S. Mission about yourself or members of your family to, you must be enrolled in STEP to receive updates and alerts. 

Additionally, all of the U.S. Mission’s STEP messages can be read on the U.S. Embassy to Pretoria website HERE:  

Repatriation Flights Update

We will continue to follow every lead and pursue every option for repatriating U.S. citizens to the United States, announcing any opportunity through STEP alerts.  We want you to know that we’ve heard your questions and concerns as the lockdown was extended and future commercial flights continue to be canceled.  We understand there is a lot of uncertainty during this time and we are doing everything we can to seek clarity and pass on the latest information we have.  

Consular Services

The U.S. Mission’s routine American Citizen Services as well as immigrant and non-immigrant visa services are closed during the South African government’s declared lockdown. 

Should you require emergency American citizen services at your nearest U.S. Consulate in South Africa, please write or call using THIS contact information 


On May 24, 2020, the government of South Africa announced the lockdown alert level for South Africa will be lowered to level 3 with effect on June 1, 2020. However, some areas, designated as “coronavirus hotspots” will have a “differentiated approach.”  For the time being, the government has identified these areas as hotspots: Tshwane (including Pretoria), Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Ethekwini (including Durban), Nelson Mandela Bay (including Port Elizabeth), Buffalo City, and Cape Town The government also announced that, if necessary, hotspots could return to alert levels 4 or 5 if the spread of infection is not contained.

Five stages of Lockdown

Travel to South Africa

Per the lockdown, all airports in South Africa are closed to commercial traffic.  Additionally, as of March 28, U.S. citizens are not currently eligible for the “visa on arrival” option, and any visas issued to U.S. citizens prior to the lockdown have been revoked.  Once commercial flights resume, please do not plan travel to South Africa until you speak to the nearest South African Embassy or Consulate in the United States to determine current entry restrictions.  We have no information on when commercial flights will resume, or if visa restrictions will be lifted.   

If you are a U.S. citizen in South Africa and your visa is expiring, please see the Department of Home Affairs announcement regarding measures put in place to address these concerns.  We are unable to answer questions about visa extensions or when DHA will reopen. 

Effective March 26, 2020, U.S. Consulates General Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban have suspended routine consular services. For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please consult our American Citizen Services 


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