UK officially opens up travel for South Africa on Monday

Starting from Monday, 11 October 2021, South Africans can travel to the United Kingdom (UK) without having to quarantine in a hotel as changes to the country’s red list are expected to take effect.

UK transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced last week that South Africa along with 46 other countries have been removed from its controversial travel red list.

“From 04:00 [on] Monday, 11 October, eligible travellers vaccinated in over 37 new countries and territories including Brazil, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey, will also be treated the same as returning fully vaccinated UK residents, so long as they have not visited a red list country or territory in the 10 days before arriving in England,”

UK transport Secretary Grant Shapps

The UK’s move to initially keep SA on its list sparked a furore and could have resulted in a diplomatic row between both nations, which have strong bilateral ties.

Seven countries, however, remain on that list: Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Peru.

“The measures announced today mark the next step as we continue to open up travel and provide stability for passengers and industry while remaining on track to keep travel open for good,” Shapps said.

SA’s removal from UK red list welcomed

South Africa’s removal from the UK travel red list is expected to give the country’s travel sector a much needed boost, particularly as the holiday season draws near.

Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has expectedly welcomed the UK’s decision, saying the country is looking forward to welcoming foreign visitors.

“We are delighted to see the UK restrictions on travel to South Africa lifted, following a successful vaccine rollout in SA, and continued decline in new Covid-19 cases. We look forward to welcoming our British visitors in time for the South African summer season and we will continue to work tirelessly with all our national and international partners to ensure the success of South Africa’s tourism recovery,” said Sisulu.

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