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The UK finally removes South Africa from its red list

South Africa has been removed from the United Kingdom's red list. This means that vaccinated travellers returning to Britain from SA no longer have to spend 10 days in quarantine as of Monday, 11 October.
The UK finally removes South Africa from its red list
©instinia via 123RF
However, travellers will have to book and pay for a Covid-19 test that they will have to do by day two of their arrival to the UK. They will also need to fill out a travel disclosure 48 hours before their flight stating where they have travelled to, according to Eyewitness News.

These rules apply to fully vaccinated people only, with quarantine still applying to those who are unvaccinated.

Tourism Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu welcomed the decision of the UK government to take South Africa off the red list, saying that she is delighted to see the UK restrictions on travel to South Africa lifted, and that the country looks forward to welcoming British visitor over the summer season. She added that government will continue to work with all national and international partners to ensure the success of South Africa’s tourism recovery.

Tourism industry elated

Travel and tourism authorities also welcomed the announcement made yesterday by Grant Shapps, UK Secretary of State for Transport.

Andrew Stark, Flight Centre Travel Group MD said: "We are delighted by the long-overdue announcement that such decisions are now being made on firm scientific evidence – and that travel between the UK and South Africa will now be much easier."

Oz Desai, Corporate Traveller GM said that the "removal of South Africa from the UK red list from 11 October is a game-changer for South African business travellers."

David Frost, CEO Satsa added that "this decision is long overdue, but it will come as a huge relief to hundreds of thousands of tourism workers in South Africa, in addition to scores of holiday companies in the UK. 

"Our UK operators have already seen a surge in enquiries from sun-starved Brits looking for a winter escape, and early estimates suggest that upwards of 300,000 British passport holders expect to visit friends and family or take advantage of highly competitive holiday deals across Southern Africa in the coming months."

Rosemary Anderson, Fedhasa national chair shared that the industry body is elated for our industry. "Supporting 1.5 million people, our tourism and hospitality sector will enjoy a significant boost with our largest source market being open to travel which in turn means a boost for job security and livelihoods."

SA is travel ready

According to a release published by Cape Town Tourism, the red list saw strenuous rules and quarantine periods for those wishing to return to the UK from countries such as South Africa, Argentina and Mexico - all of which have now been removed.

CEO, Enver Duminy added his delight saying that "Cape Town Tourism is definitely delighted at the news that South Africa has been taken off the UK’s restrictive red list after months of lobbying. We would like to acknowledge our partners Satsa, especially David Frost, our other partners Wesgro together with the City of Cape Town and the members of Cape Town Tourism for our continuing months of lobbying against these restrictions.

Duminy continued: "As an organisation, we have always heeded the call to be removed, and Cape Town is and always has been ready to welcome all international guests with open arms. While this is a much-needed victory for us, we need to continue to encourage our citizens to get vaccinated. Even now, after this good news, many will still be looking at the vaccination rates within South Africa as an indication of whether they are confident about booking a trip to our country."

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