Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa (March 18, 2020)

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa (March 18, 2020)

Location:  South Africa

Event: The government of South Africa has implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States are urged to work with their airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available.On March 18, 2020, South Africa has barred admission to travelers who have recently visited the United States, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, and China. All U.S. citizen visitors must now have visas prior to arrival in order to enter the country. Visit the South African Department of Home Affairs website and South Africa COVID-19 website for additional information on these new measures.

As a result of the travel restrictions, a reduction in commercial air connections out of South Africa is anticipated.  Many travelers in South Africa have reported unexpected flight cancellations and limited flight availability.  If your travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline or cruiseline.

Effective March 16, 2020, U.S. Mission South Africa has suspended routine nonimmigrant visa consular services.  For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information.

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 3 Health Advisory for COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 2 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice.

Actions to Take:

  • U.S. citizens in South Africa should evaluate their travel plans and options for departure from South Africa.
  • Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
  • For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
  • Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on for the latest information.
  • Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.