COVID-19: important information for hosts and guests in South Africa

We are committed to bringing you the latest government advice on COVID-19 as it relates to the Airbnb community. Please continue to check this blog post regularly for updates.

Updated 9 April 2020: The South African government has released new regulations relating to COVID-19 here.

According to the regulations, all hosts with international guests still staying at their listings should urgently contact the Department of Health via email at They must supply the Department with the following details: name of guest, a contact number and country of origin. The Department will then get in touch with guests to explain further steps.

Updated 7 April 2020: In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, the South African government has issued updated regulations for international guests currently in South Africa. 

International guests must inform their respective embassies that they are still in South Africa and must not leave their hotel or accommodation establishments until their departure from South Africa has been confirmed. Due to the border closures under lockdown, no commercial flights will be leaving from South Africa’s airports. Instead, guests must contact their embassies for details of any charter flights for repatriation purposes, as well as the procedures for travel to the airport.

Testing and screening for COVID-19 will also no longer be undertaken at airports. Rather, the Department of Health will be testing international guests at the establishments where they are staying during the lockdown.

Click here for a list of contact details of all international embassies and missions in South Africa.

Updated 26 March 2020: According to the latest information provided to us by the South African government, while international guests must please continue to contact their embassies as soon as possible, there is currently no guarantee that embassies will repatriate citizens as previously stated.

Updated 25 March 2020: The South African government has asked the country to go into a lockdown for 21 days starting at midnight, Thursday 26 March/Friday 27 March to address the public health crisis associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).

The South African government encourages all travellers to return home before the lockdown commences. 

Below is important information shared by the Government for hosts with guests staying in their listings, as well as guests who have booked a listing on Airbnb in South Africa:

  • South Africans travelling within the country should return home.
  • International guests should please:
    • Contact the embassy as soon as possible. A list of embassies and contact details can be found here.
    • If returning to your home country before the lockdown is not possible, you will be permitted to stay at your listing but will be required to self isolate until departure. You will be permitted to leave only to go to the airport. Note: you will be required to show proof of a confirmed reservation.
    • On arrival at the airport, mandatory testing for COVID-19 will take place before boarding commences. For this reason, it is recommended that you add, at the very least, an extra hour to the usual airline recommended check-in time. 
    • The test results will be known approximately 3 days after departure when you will be informed. If the result is positive then ‘track and trace’ of those who were in contact with you will immediately be activated.

We understand that these challenging times require extraordinary measures. We encourage hosts to reach out to your guests to learn more about their circumstances.

This situation evolves fast and the Government is constantly publishing new regulations that may apply to both hosts’ and guests’ circumstances. Please visit the official South African Tourism website regularly and check the Government information.

For the latest information and more detail on Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy, please visit this Help Center page or visit our coronavirus resource page.

The health and wellbeing of our community of hosts and guests is our priority. We can only thank you for being part of this community.

Click here for answers to your hosting questions about the coronavirus.