Health Alert: South Africa Announces New Travel Restrictions

On Sunday, March 15, new restrictions on entry to the Republic of South Africa were announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. The most relevant restrictions for U.S. citizens currently in or planning to visit Lesotho include: 1) Effective Monday, March 16, closure of some land borders between South Africa and Lesotho, and 2) effective Wednesday, March 18, restrictions on entry to the Republic of South Africa for travelers who have visited certain countries, including the United States, within the previous 20 days. There may be additional restrictions affecting the ability of U.S. citizens to enter South Africa as of March 18. The Department of State has asked the government of South Africa for further information, and we will share this information as we receive it.

1) Closure of Some Land Border Crossings Between South Africa and Lesotho

According to the best information available to the U.S. Embassy in Maseru, as of this time the following border posts remain open:

Lesotho Border Crossing Name South African Crossing Name Operating Hours
Maseru Bridge Maseru Bridge 24 hours
Maputsoe Ficksburg Bridge 24 hours
Caledonspoort Caledonspoort 06:00-22:00
Qacha’s Nek Quacha’s Nek 06:00-22:00
Van Rooyen’s Gate Van Rooyen’s Gate 06:00-22:00

 

According to the best information available to the U.S. Embassy in Maseru, as of this time the following border posts are closed:

Lesotho Border Crossing Name South African Crossing Name Operating Hours
Makhaleng Bridge Makhaleng Bridge CLOSED
Montansa Pass Montansa Pass CLOSED
Ngoangoana Boesmansnek CLOSED
Ongeluksnek Ongeluksnek CLOSED
Peka Bridge Peka Bridge CLOSED
Ramatsilitso/Ramatseliso’s Gate Ramatsilitso/Ramatseliso’s Gate CLOSED
Sani Pass Sani Pass CLOSED
Sepapus Gate Sepapus Gate CLOSED
Tele Bridge Tele Bridge CLOSED

Please note that the governments of South Africa or Lesotho may open or close the border crossings with minimal advance notice.

At this time, all international airports in South Africa remain open.

2) Restrictions on Entry to South Africa for Travelers from Selected Countries, Including the United States

Effective Wednesday, March 18, South Africa will refuse entry to any foreign visitor who in the previous 20 days has visited Italy, Iran, Germany, the People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Spain, the United States, or the United Kingdom. The U.S. Embassy in Lesotho has confirmed this policy with the South African High Commission in Lesotho.

The U.S Embassy in Lesotho is working to get further information regarding the new entry restrictions and how they may affect U.S. citizens. We will share additional information as it becomes available.

Please direct further inquiries to USConsularMaseru@state.gov.