Travel restrictions

UK lifts South Africa travel restrictions

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson may soon ease travel restrictions.

  • South Africa could be removed from UK red list
  • Means travelers would no longer have to stay 10 days in a so-called quarantine hotel
  • Fully vaccinated people would not have to be quarantined at all
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The United Kingdom (UK) could ease travel restrictions to South Africa as early as Thursday, according to a report from the Telegraph.

The possible move follows extensive lobbying from South African business organizations as well as the government, to urge the UK government to remove the country from its controversial red list, which requires travelers to self-quarantine even s ‘they are negative and vaccinated.

Such a change would mean travelers would no longer have to stay 10 days in a so-called quarantine hotel at their own cost of £ 2,285 (R 44,800).

Lobbying to get off the red list has gone to the highest level with Chairman of SA Cyril Ramaphosa and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussing the issue last week.

Having SA on the red list has hurt the local tourist season, with the Tourism Business Council of SA claiming that the tourism industry is losing around R26 million every day while the country remains on the list, Fin24 has already reported.

If SA were to be moved to the Amber List, travelers would only need:

  • Take a Covid-19 test three days before traveling to the UK, even if he is vaccinated,
  • Book and pay for one when you arrive in the UK,
  • Complete a passenger tracking form,
  • Quarantine at home or in the place where they stay for 10 days if they are not fully vaccinated

Fully vaccinated people would not have to be quarantined.

The news that SA could be moved to the Amber List is welcome, especially as the country was largely slated to move from the Red List when the UK revised which countries would remain on September 17, 2021.

To the shock of most, SA has not been moved, despite the implementation of a vaccination campaign which has since enabled around 15% of the total population to be fully vaccinated and cases of Covid-19 are went from 20,000 per day at the height of the third wave to about 1,800 per day.

In his address to the nation on the Covid-19 crisis last week, Ramaphosa said the and Johnson agreed that the travel restriction changes should be made on a “scientific basis.”

The Telegraph reported that SA would not be the only one to be moved from the red list, which could be reduced from 54 to nine, with Brazil and Mexico also supposed to be able to travel without quarantine.

(Compiled by Larry Claasen)

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