A potential barrier to families travelling to South Africa has been removed with the relaxation of entry requirements.

A waiver has been signed by the country’s home affairs minister which allows foreign children entry without carrying additional supporting documents.

As a result, children from countries where visas are not required, such as the UK and Ireland, will no longer need to bring consent letters or unabridged birth certificates which show the details of both parents for all international travel to and from South Africa.

Iata has received written confirmation from the government so check-in desks will not be looking for supporting documents from foreign travellers.

Children from overseas who require a visa for South Africa do not need to carry additional documents for inspection at a port of entry since these would be processed together with their visa applications.

Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said: “This improvement in our admissions policy builds on the work the department has been doing to contribute to economic growth and investment.

“Foreign children can enter and depart the country without being required to provide birth certificates, consent letters and other supporting documents relating to proof of parentage.”

South African Tourism UK and Ireland acting hub head Kgomotso Ramothea said: “The Department of Home Affairs and Department of Tourism announced in December 2018 that South Africa had officially updated its international entry regulations, so for the waiver to be signed by the minister of home affairs was the final piece of the puzzle.

“We are delighted that the Department of Home Affairs and Department of Tourism of South Africa have officially updated its international entry regulations.

“We look forward to welcoming even more families from the UK and Ireland to South Africa.

“It is great news for the destination as the relaxation of entry requirements will undoubtedly help increase our visitor numbers in 2020 and beyond.”

Responding to the news, Arno Delport, sales and marketing manager at Africa  specialist operator Acacia Africa, said: “While at this early stage we would still advise agents booking families on our tours to check with the South African embassy, this is a positive step forward.

“We hope that the move will boost 2020 bookings and encourage more parents to consider South Africa for their main family holiday.”