International visitors from countries including the UK will be allowed into South Africa for stays of more than three months.

The move by the country’s government is in recognition that regular visitors, mainly from European countries, usually visit South Africa for long periods during the northern hemisphere winter.

Most own properties and make a “significant economic contribution” during their stay.

As a result, international visitors, whether listed in the high-risk category or not, are now allowed into South Africa on a long-term basis providing they stay for a three months 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.

South African Tourism UK and Ireland acting hub head Kgomotso Ramothea said: “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.”