On Thursday 7th of October, South Africa it was announced that South Africa would be removed from the United Kingdom’s red list. The delisting will come into effect on Monday 11 October.
The amber and green lists have been discarded, and rules for Covid testing have been relaxed. This announcement means eligible travellers from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland who are fully vaccinated are allowed to travel to South Africa and return to their home country without producing a negative PCR test and quarantining for the mandated 14-day period.
All international visitors to South Africa are exempt from completing the mandatory 14-day quarantine, which was in place at the height of the pandemic.
The Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) continues to recommend against all but essential travel to countries in Africa based on the risks of emerging Covid variants.
New rules for fully vaccinated travellers
Travellers returning to the UK from South Africa are no longer required to quarantine for 14 days. You only need to complete a passenger locator form, produce valid proof of a vaccination certificate and book a free Day 2 and Day 8 lateral flow test in their home country. You will be required to take a free PCR test if the lateral flow test is positive for the Covid virus.
You are considered fully vaccinated if you have completed an entire course of an approved Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days before departing for South Africa. The 14-day minimum waiting period does not include the day you have your final dose. Approved Covid-19 vaccines include Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Janssen.
New rules for unvaccinated travellers
Travellers returning to the UK from South Africa who are not fully vaccinated must produce a negative pre-departure PCR test and are required to self-isolate at home or in hotel accommodation for ten days. You also need to book and provide test results of a free Day 2 and Day 8 Covid test in the self-isolation period.
Travellers 18 years and younger returning to the UK from South Africa are no longer required to take a PCR Covid test 72 hours before departure, regardless of their vaccination status.
How to get an NHS Covid Pass certificate?
Travellers from England can get their NHS Covid Pass through the NHS website or NHS App. Visitors from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can access their Covid Pass through the NHS website or app in their country.
The announcement that South Africa has been removed from the red list coincides with the United Kingdom’s government officially recognising South Africa’s digital certificates as valid proof of vaccination.
The South African Department of Home Affairs launched the official Covid-19 Vaccine Certificate Portal in October. Residents who are fully vaccinated can access their Covid-19 vaccine digital certificate on the app through an inbuilt QR scanner.
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