COVID-19 Related Travel Updates
On 4 October 2020, the South African Minister of Home Affairs reinstated the visa exemption status of Singapore citizens which was revoked at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. Until further notice, Singapore passport holders may continue to visit South Africa without a visa.
Update: On 11 November 2020, the South African authorities opened their borders fully and restored incoming international travel to travellers from all countries on the condition that all arriving travellers submit a negative PCR COVID-19 test obtained not more than 72 hours before date of travel. Those who are unable to submit proof of a negative test will be quarantined at their own cost. Furthermore, all visitors must download the “COVID Alert SA” app onto their smartphones, which may be done in advance free of charge from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Upon arrival, travellers will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms or contact with infected persons, and if they display any symptoms or are suspected to have been in such contact, they will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test and quarantine at their own cost, where necessary. More information can be found on the South African Government website at the following link: https://www.gov.za/covid-19/individuals-and-households/travel-coronavirus-covid-19#borders
As of 17 December 2020, travellers will also be required to complete a web-based COVID-19 travel health questionnaire ahead of arrival, which is accessible at https://sa-covid-19-travel.info. Upon completion, travellers will receive a unique ID number that has to be presented to Port Health officials upon arrival.
Note: The South African authorities previously spoke about requiring travel insurance covering COVID-19 for all incoming travellers/tourists. This is no longer a pre-requisite for entering South Africa. However, given the highly fluid global COVID-19 situation, Singaporean travellers coming to South Africa are still strongly encouraged to purchase travel insurance which includes a COVID-19 rider, and make sure the rider covers South Africa as well as other destinations of travel on the same trip.
For more information regarding South Africa’s Adjusted Alert Level 3 regulations announced on 28 December 2020, please refer to https://www.gov.za/covid-19/about/alert-level-3-during-coronavirus-covid-19-lockdown. Further updates and news on the current COVID-19 situation in South Africa can be found on the official Twitter page of the Department of Health of South Africa at https://twitter.com/HealthZA and the official COVID-19 website at www.sacoronavirus.co.za.
Singaporeans who require urgent consular assistance when in South Africa may call the High Commission at +27 12 430 6035 (office hours) or the Emergency hotline +27 72 988 8759 (after office hours). For all other queries on travel which are non-urgent in nature, we kindly request that an email be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can provide a comprehensive reply.
General Travel Information for South Africa
It is safe to visit South Africa. Over 10 million tourists visit the country every year. Many foreigners live and work in South Africa without incident. First-time visitors should however know that crimes do happen. Major tourism sites during daylight hours are generally safer. Repeat visitors should not become complacent. Away from the familiarity and safety of home, Singaporeans should be alert to their new surrounding. We have to switch to a different presence of mind. What is safe in Singapore (e.g. 5-star hotels, shopping malls and Central Business Districts) may be unsafe overseas.  Every country has a different law and order situation and approach. The following do’s and don’ts illustrate the precautionary attitude required to minimise the risk of falling victim to crime, and are not meant to be exhaustive.
Awareness of spontaneous outbreaks of social unrest
A good resource to refer to are the social media webpages of the local authorities for updates on the local security situation, such as:
Other useful tips
Customs / Duty Free Allowances
Singaporean travellers may wish to visit the website of the South African Revenue Services (SARS) to see what the latest duty free allowances are for travellers entering South Africa and also the current list of prohibited items.https://www.sars.gov.za/ClientSegments/Customs-Excise/Travellers/Pages/Arrival-in-SA.aspx
If you have travelled to a country listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a yellow fever endemic country / region before entering South Africa, proof of yellow fever vaccination will be required by South African authorities. You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid WHO International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis.
You may wish to consult Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s Travellers’ Health and Vaccination Clinic (THVC) (Tel: 6357 2222, Email: email@example.com ) for vaccination and other medical advice.
 In October 2017, two Singaporeans were robbed on their way to the beach near Mitchells Plain (about 32km away from Cape Town). In July 2019, some Singaporeans staying at a high-end hotel in Cape Town were traumatised by an armed robbery in the hotel lobby.
 In May 2017, a group of Singaporeans on their way to their hotel in Johannesburg were intercepted by fake police on the expressway who made off with their valuables. In August 2018, a Singaporean who had done some shopping in up-market shopping centre in Sandton was followed back to the hotel and robed by armed criminals. Because he put up a struggle, shots were fired and he was fortunate to escape with a minor injury.
 In June 2019, a visitor to a nature attraction in Pretoria, widely known to be a crime hotspot at dusk, was robbed. In July 2019, a tourist who hiked alone in Greenpoint (Cape Town) which is generally safe was stabbed to death.
 In September 2019, a female tourist staying at a lodge near the Kruger National Park was raped.
 If you use your mobile phone’s GPS, you should be aware that phone reception and data transmission can be intermittent or non-existent in remote areas.
Singaporeans are strongly encouraged to eRegister with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg so that we can contact you should the need arise. Singaporeans are also advised to stay in touch with your family and friends so that they know you are safe. Those who need urgent consular assistance while in South Africa may contact the Singapore High Commission in Pretoria or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24 hours) at:
High Commission of the Republic of Singapore in Pretoria
980-982 Francis Baard Street (formerly Schoeman Street),
Arcadia, Pretoria 0083, South Africa
Main General Telephone: +27-12-430 6035
Duty Officer Telephone/WhatsApp : +27-72-988 8759
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-Hours)
Tanglin, Singapore 248163
Telephone: +65 6379 8800 / 8855
Emergency numbers in South Africa
Mobile phone direct dial for emergency: 112
Other Useful Contacts
If you require roadside assistance, check with your car rental firm directly as they usually provide them. Or else, try the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA-SA) which has a 24 hour hotline +27 861 000234 (or dial 0861 000 234 if your mobile phone has auto roaming). Kindly note that emergency services rendered by AA-SA are charged at a different rate for non-members. Special arrangements currently exist between AA Singapore and AA-SA so AA Singapore members should bring along their valid membership cards if you intend to drive in South Africa. You may wish to contact AA Singapore at www.aas.com.sg for more details of this reciprocity before you travel.
South Africa is a huge country and medical assistance may not be readily available. If you need emergency assistance, dial 10177 and ask for an ambulance which may provide some interim medical attention. You should concurrently contact your travel insurance firm. The contact detail of International SOS in Johannesburg is + 27 11 541 1000 / 1300, and in Singapore +65 6 338 7800. The cost of International SOS has to be borne by users or their insurance companies. Note: the 10177 ambulance service is operated by local authorities. Another privately operated ambulance service which also provides medical evacuation is Netcare 911 which can be reached by calling 082 911.
Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [13 November 2019]
In view of the upcoming school holidays, Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws and customs restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.
Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth. Failure to do so is an immigration offence in Malaysia and the penalties can be severe, including detention, a fine, and a ban from future entry into the country.
In 2019, demonstrations have occurred in several major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities.
When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.
For those planning to travel, here are some tips:
In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/8855.