As the COVID-19 infection rate declines and South African government announces a further reopening of the economy in Level 2, the tourism sector confirms it is ready to reopen. If you are already packing your bags to go on an adventure in South Africa, make sure you read our tips on how to travel safely.
Keep it simple
Take a trip that is direct and door-to-door if possible; avoid a lot of different means of transportation or transfers. For example, travelling by car during COVID-19 will likely be the safest, so look for destinations within driving distance. Get on a plane only if you need to visit family or if it’s an emergency. If you must fly, keep in mind that a nonstop flight is safer than one with layovers, because of fewer chances of being exposed to the virus. Choose local activities that do not require public transportation, and opt for walks and bike rides.
Allow for extra time at the airport
You don't want to be rushed or miss your flight because you haven't made provision for the extra time needed to pass through all the new health and safety checks. Be patient and expect longer queues. Your temperature will be taken before you're even allowed to enter the terminal building. Note that only travellers, with valid tickets and necessary documentation, will be allowed to enter terminal buildings.
When outdoors, especially if the air is moving, risk of transmission is low. Walks along the beach, a day hike in the hills or mountains, a bike ride – these are great low-risk activities. Plus, you will be amazed by how nature can recharge your batteries when you allow yourself to slow down. Most transmission of respiratory viruses happens indoors, so avoid activities like eating inside a restaurant, especially if it is crowded. If there are tables outside, pick those. No matter what the activity, being outdoors is always better than being cooped up inside.
Don't go anywhere without travel insurance. Yes, even on a local trip, travel insurance is recommended. Plan ahead. Pre-book accommodation and plan a rough itinerary (at least where you're sleeping each night). Check what facilities, parks and attractions are open. Call ahead to check that any attractions you'd like to visit are open. Be sure to confirm opening hours to avoid disappointment.
If you have the travel bug and are looking to embark on an adventure in South Africa, make sure you take note on these tips on how to keep safe. Make sure you check government regulations before travelling as these are subject to change.
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