South Africa open for Tourism & Baz Bus operations to resume soon

Dear Travelers,

As you might have heard – our president, Cyril Ramaphosa, finally announced that South Africa will reopen borders for tourism on the 1st October 2020 (Hallelluujjaa!!! Yes I know you’re also singing with joy!).

However, after 2 minutes of happy dance in the middle of your living room, you might have realised that we still live in a new “Covid-19 world” and wondered what would be the exact conditions and when would you finally be able to do your Baz Bus road trip across the fabulous South Africa.

So before you jump on buying your flight and book your Baz Bus rides, we have broken down below all official announcements to answer all the questions you might have about your next trip in our beautiful country. We will keep updating this post as more details come out and if you still have any questions please send us a message at info@bazbus.com .

[Spoiler Alert: And if the suspense is too intense, and you really want to know when Baz Bus is reopening without reading the full article… our safari tours will be operating again from the 1st November 2020 and our day tours and hop-on hop-off bus operation will resume from the 15th December 2020 but the dates can still change depending on the situation in the next months. However you can book without stress already as we will offer 100% refunds for cancellation of all tickets bought between now and the 31st January 2020. See conditions in T&Cs below]

Travellers allowed & Airports opened

International flights will resume operation to and from South Africa from 1st October 2020. Three international airports will open: OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg), Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport (Durban) – as well as 18 land borders.

Travel is restricted for leisure travellers from some countries with high infection rates. This list is determined by the latest epidemiological data and will be amended every 2 weeks as situation evolve.

See below the latest list of countries (list edited on 19/10/2020) from where leisure travellers will not be allowed in South Africa according to the DHA website:

  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

Business visitors, diplomats and people with high-skills visas from high-risk countries will, however, be allowed in, as well as all travellers from the African continent.

Entry into South Africa is based on where the traveller has spent the previous 10 days. If the passport of a foreign national traveller from a high-risk country indicates that they have spent 10 days or more in a low-risk country before departure to South Africa, they will be considered to be arriving from a low-risk country and subject to the low-risk entry requirements.

We are still awaiting clarity on how travellers can prove they have spent 10 days in a low-risk country in cases where there is not a passport stamp to indicate as such (e.g. passports are not stamped between EU countries); as well as what is required of travellers who are passport holders of high-risk countries, but reside in a low-risk country (e.g. proof of residence).

Entry requirements in South Africa

  • Is a negative COVID-19 test required for entry?YES, All passengers will be required to provide a valid certificate of a negative test which was obtained not more than 72 hours prior to departure.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry?YES, All passengers will undergo a health screening, which will include symptom checks and temperature screenings. Any symptomatic passenger will be subject to additional testing and/or quarantine.
  • Are there any Contact Tracing measures in place? YES all travellers will be asked to download the South Africa’s contact tracing alert app for the duration of their stay in the country. (no data needed)
  • Is there a compulsory quarantine when landing South Africa?  NO if the passenger fulfils the above requirement there is not mandatory quarantine. However, in the event of the traveller’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative test or in case of symptoms at arrival, the traveller will be required to quarantine at his own costs.

Restrictions still in place in South Africa

To help minimize the spread, there is still some restrictions in place in the country:

  • Face masks are still required in all public spaces except when undertaking vigorous exercise.
  • A national curfew is in effect between midnight and 04h00.
  • Alcohol sales for personal consumption is permitted Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm excluding weekends and public holidays.
  • On-site consumption is permitted in bars or restaurants, subject to strict adherence to the curfew.
  • Most gatherings are allowed at 50% of a venue’s capacity (250 px max indoor, 500 px max outdoor)
Hostel Staff screening temperature of tourist at arrival
Never @ Home Hostel Reception in Cape Town

What is open in South Africa at the moment?

Most tourist attractions and facilities have already reopened in South Africa. Accommodation, bars, restaurants, markets, shops and other tourism-based businesses are open, even though some might have capacity limits, restricted hours, and/or social distancing in effect.

South Africa is also well known, for its wide-open space, wildlife, nature and scenic outdoor and if you’re looking for a destination to avoid crowds, it’s the perfect place. All National Parks, Nature Reserves & Beaches have already reopened. You might even be treated to exceptional animal sightings as parks & reserves got quieter over the last months and animals became more comfortable on touristy roads. Check our safari tours here.

Most suppliers of activities across the country have implemented new health & safety protocols and are ready to welcome you for incredible adventures.  From Shark Cage Diving, to Bungy Jumping, Zip Lining or Kayaking, there is many, many things to do around the country.  

And of course, the iconic attractions of the country are also open: Table Mountain, Robben Island, Drakensberg Mountains, Kruger National Park, Wine Farms in the Winelands etc…

Safari Tour in Kruger National Park (c) Kellie Paxian

What is the current COVID-19 situation in South Africa?

The nation has recently flattened their curve after strict country-wide lockdowns and is now reporting their lowest new case numbers since May. However, the virus is still circulating and social distancing, hand washing, and other preventive measures still need to be followed to avoid a second wave.

Baz Bus Operations to Restart

Baz Bus will resume operation gradually.

From the 1st November 2020, our Safari Tours provider can host guests again. Please read our Health & Safety protocols specific to Safari Tours. 

From the 15th December 2020, our Day Tours and Hop-on Hop-off bus service will resume operation. See all details for our Table Mountain Guided Hike and Cape Peninsula Day Tour on our website, as well as our updated timetable for Hop-on Hop-off buses.

Please note that these dates are subject to change. In this event, tickets can be refunded. (See conditions in our T&Cs below).

Baz Bus Health & Safety protocols

The safety and well-being of our passengers, drivers, guides and staff is our utmost priority. Baz Bus has implemented new strict health & safety protocols to operate in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our protocols align with the latest Disaster Management and Department of Employment and Labour (DoEL) Regulations, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD), the Department of health (DoH) guidelines and advice, the Health & Safety Act, as well as the directions published by the Department of Tourism and the TBCSA.

With our protocol, we obtained the “Travel Safe – Eat Safe Certification” as well as the “World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) certification”.

You can download our full protocol here or read our main measures below:

  • We implemented enhanced cleaning and complete disinfection of buses during and after each trip. The deep cleaning process includes a comprehensive wipe down of all surfaces, door handles, seat belts, etc, with approved disinfectant solution, as well as spraying the inside of each bus and trailer before and after each trip.
  • All Baz Bus staff and customers are required to wear masks when in the bus or in the office. We regret that no eating or drinking will be allowed while on-board the bus. Instead we will extend the resting time at each rest stop.
  • A screening check will be conducted on all staff, drivers and guides before their shifts and each passenger will also be screened before boarding the bus. 
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray/wipes are available at the entrance of all buses and we require hand sanitising for staff and customers before entering the buses
  • We have now limited the number of passengers on our buses to 10. The seats next to the driver will not be in use and no more than 2 passengers are required to sit in each row with an empty seat or alley separating 2 persons. (except for family/friend group travelling together).
  • We will no longer be using the aircon in any of our buses and windows are to remain open in order to allow for an exchange of air.
  • Our drivers and guides are required to maintain a safe distance (no more high fives, handshakes and big hugs), this is just the new way of showing that they care.

Updated Baz Bus T&Cs

Cape Peninsula day tour, Table Mountain Hike, and all Hop-on Hop-off and Travel Pass tickets: 100% refund for cancellations if purchased between 1st October 2020 and 31st January 2020. These tickets are also open-dated and can be used at any time in future.

Safaris Tours: 100% refundable if cancelled any time before starting date of the safari tour.

So what are you waiting for? Book your next trip now without hesitation and start planning stress free! We can’t wait to drive you around our beautiful country again!

Last update: 20/10/2020

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