By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The South African government is offering a new type of visa to long-term residents locked out of the country by Covid-19 restrictions.
Authorities say they have recognised there are a number of regular visitors, mainly from European countries, who usually visit the country for long periods of time during the summer season, most of whom own properties in the destination.
Due to the significant economic contribution that they make to the destination during their stay, international visitors (including those from the UK), whether listed in the high-risk category or not, are now allowed into South Africa on a long-term basis.
This is provided they stay for a three-month period or more, subject to Covid-19 protocols.
All international travellers will still be required to present a Covid-19 free certificate dated no later than 72 hours within their date of arrival or quarantine on arrival.
Kgomotso Ramothea, acting hub head UK & Ireland, South African Tourism, explained: “This is a very positive step for South Africa and great news for UK travellers eager to return to the destination on a long-term basis, whether they’re visiting friends and family, staying in their own holiday home or planning to stay in tourism accommodation.
“As it’s that time of year when the clocks go back in the UK, South Africa has always been a popular destination for many Brits looking to escape the dark winter nights in favour of the country’s summer season so we are delighted to welcome them back to explore our incredible natural landscapes, diverse vibrant culture, wide open spaces, and abundance of nature and wildlife.
“The UK is our number one source market and the return of British visitors to the destination will help aid the economic recovery of the tourism industry as we look to a brighter future.”
Guests looked to apply must direct email requests to the authority.
They are advised to include a copy of passport and/or temporary residence visa; proof of business activities to be undertaken in South Africa; proof of travel itinerary; and proof of address or accommodation in the country.