Important factors to consider when travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has made this a difficult period for travellers, both domestically and internationally. As indicated by the World Health Organisation, leading global experts and our own National Department of Health, travel poses specific risks during COVID-19, as infections may be transferred from hotspot areas. This is particularly problematic across international borders, as demonstrated in the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic where initial global spread was primarily due to international business and leisure travel.

Although the borders of South Africa and selected other countries have been opened, international travel for leisure purposes remains discouraged. This is particularly relevant in considering destinations which are currently experiencing a surge of COVID-19 infections. Travel for members at high risk of severe COVID-19 illness, such as the elderly and those living with chronic illness, is particularly discouraged.

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected all countries around the world due to the unpredictable nature and impact of this disease. The South African and foreign governments may therefore apply restrictions (including lockdowns) with little notice, even in countries currently considered as low risk. If you choose to travel abroad during this outbreak, your trip may be disrupted, and it may prove difficult to arrange travel back to South Africa.