Travel Advice: Covid testing at Johannesburg Airport

The majority of visitors to Botswana will fly via South Africa and may need to make use of Covid testing facilities along the way. Since November 2020 Johannesburg’s OR Tambo Airport has offered travellers COVID-19 PCR testing from just outside the terminal building.

Botswana, along with most destinations, requires all visitors to produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate in order to enter the country. These tests must be performed within 72 hours of arrival in the country. Many travellers are able to complete their travel to Botswana within this time with no trouble. However this can prove more challenging for those with particularly long journeys and layovers, especially when taking into account that most travellers will have to take their test 24 hours before their departure flight. The testing facilities at Johannesburg Airport therefore provides a much needed

Johannesburg Airport has three National Health Laboratory Service mobile testing units situated just outside the terminal buildings. These units are clearly identifiable vans, located opposite the InterContinental Hotel, in front of the Police Station, on the lower level of the airport complex.

  • The Johannesburg Airport Covid test service is open from 7am-7pm Monday to Friday and 8am – 5pm on Saturday, Sunday and Public holidays.
  • Tests cost R850 (approx $60) and can be paid in cash and by cheque/debit card and credit cards. American Express is not accepted.
  • Results are available in 2 to 48 hours, depending on capacity, and the traveller is advised by SMS text when the test results and certificate are ready for collection. Most tests are processed in 24 hours but occasionally the results may take longer.
  • Tests cannot currently be pre-booked and are operated on a first come first served basis.

If you need to make use of the Covid test facilities at Johannesburg Airport we strongly recommend staying a night in Joburg to allow sufficient time to process the tests and receive your certificate. There are a number of airport hotels ranging from large international chains such as the Intercontinental and City Lodge to smaller more boutique hotels. Please contact us for more information.

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