October 7

South Africa is off the UK Red List!


By Brad Mitchell on October 7, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that travel restrictions imposed by the UK government have finally been eased. And as a result, South Africa is off the UK red list for travel.

In a statement released on 7 October, the UK Government made highly anticipated changes to the recently amended international travel framework. These changes have wide-ranging consequences for travellers, the travel industry and South Africans as a whole.

What Do These Changes Mean For Travellers?

We strongly encourage your travel plans not be compromised by fiction
Since its removal from the UK red list, South Africa is now a realistic travel option for anyone travelling from the UK.

From 11 October 2021, the requirements to travel from the UK to South Africa, for fully vaccinated travellers, will only be a negative PCR test result on arrival on either side of your journey, so long as you have not visited a red-list country in the 10 days before arriving in the UK. Travellers will also need to have a PCR test on day two following their return to the UK – this test needs to be booked prior to travel, as well as complete a passenger locator form in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK.

In addition to the shorter red list, the government said passengers would soon be able to use a photograph of a lateral flow test as a minimum requirement to verify a negative result.

The elimination of the quarantine period for travellers from South Africa is the most significant change. And as a result, they are effectively making the country a realistic option for recreational travel once more.

Potential Impact on South Africa

This decision is a significant step and an encouraging sign for the travel and tourism industry in South Africa. The UK is South Africa’s top source market for international visitors, accounting for 29% of tourists from Europe. In the three years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, South Africa recorded a steady volume of over 400,000 UK tourists per year. And up to 45% of these travellers were visiting in the peak summer season between October and January.

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, over 470,000 South African Travel and Tourism jobs have been lost. The impact of the UK red list on the South African economy is an estimated loss of more than ZAR 181 million (GBP 8.8 million) each week. This change provides a chance to reinvigorate the South African tourism industry at its most crucial time of the year.

Summer in South Africa

Camps Bay Beach in Cape Town, South Africa
Camps Bay Beach is popular in Cape Town.

UK guests’ favourite destinations in South Africa include the Western Cape. Nearly half of all UK guests coming to South Africa visit the province on their holidays. The key attractions of the Garden Route and Cape Town are top-rated during the summer months. And the excellent weather, favourable exchange rates, a variety of experiences, and stunning scenery are all key contributing factors.

If you’re in the mood for a spontaneous summer holiday in the heart of a snowy UK winter, why not head south? Availability, excellent rates on offer and sunny weather are all waiting for you in South Africa

There’s a world of adventure and opportunity awaiting you, from stunning beaches to out-of-this-world safaris, diverse culture and culinary delights. There’s nowhere else like it! And, more importantly, it won’t break the bank!

Visit South Africa!

South Africa is off the UK red list
A South African safari adventure is ready and waiting to be enjoyed!

You might find inspiration and everything else you’re looking for about African travel on our website or blog. Still, from personal experience, there’s nothing that will ever be as useful as chatting directly to one of our safari Travel Experts.

Please don’t wait. South Africa is open, and we can’t wait to welcome you.

Read more about how we’re navigating Covid-19 here:

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About the author 

Brad Mitchell

With a deep-set love of the outdoors and making moments count in all aspects of life, nothing makes Brad happier than taking in sunrises and sunsets. He can often be found either running, surfing or playing sports somewhere in Cape Town. Having grown up a stone's throw from Kruger, Brad jumped at the chance to live in the Cape and has never looked back since! With a background in all things Marketing, he is driven by creativity and turning crazy ideas into real-life actions!

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