Health Alert – U. S. Embassy (Pretoria, South Africa) (November 27)
Location: Southern African Countries
Event: On November 26, the White House announced a travel restriction due to the detection of a variant of the SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in southern Africa. The policy does not apply to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and certain other categories of travelers. See the text of the announcement here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/11/26/statement-by-president-joe-biden-on-the-omicron-covid-19-variant/. The new restrictions and requirements will take effect on November 29. Additionally, President Biden announced new actions to protect Americans against the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19, including strengthening global pre-departure testing protocols. Starting the week of December 6, the United States will require all inbound international travelers over the age of 2 years old, including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents, to take a COVID test within one day of departure globally, regardless of nationality or vaccination status. The CDC has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice - Do Not Travel for South Africa. Subsequently, the Department has updated the Travel Advisory for South Africa to a Level 4 - Do Not Travel.
U.S. citizens wishing to depart South Africa currently have multiple options via commercial air and land border crossings. Transportation schedules can change without notice. Please check with airlines/carriers regarding flight cancellations and/or restrictions. The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to have a departure plan that does not include government assistance.
Please see contact information for airlines operating from O.R. Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport, and King Shaka International Airport below.
- Delta Air Lines: Visit its website www.delta.com or by calling: +27-11-408-8200
- Emirates: Visit its website www.emirates.com/za or by calling +27-10-344-0608.
- Qatar Airways: Visit www.qatarairways.com/WeWillGetYouHome for reservations or call +27 11 267 7700.
- Turkish Airlines: Visit its website https://www.turkishairlines.com/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- United Airlines: Visit its website www.united.com or call its South Africa reservations number at +27 (0)21-426-8058.
Actions to Take:
- Review the CDC’s travel health notice for South Africa.
- Review the State.Gov Travel Alert for South Africa.
- Review the Embassy’s COVID-19 page
- Review the South Africa National Institute for Communicable Diseases FAQ on B.1.1.529
- Check with airlines and transit and destination countries for how it impacts travel.
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive updates.
United States Embassy to the Republic of South Africa
(Note: The Embassy does not provide consular services.)
877 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, Pretoria
Tel: 012-431-4000 (outside South Africa: +27-12-431-4000)
State Department – Consular Affairs