By Kaya 959 Reporter
Travel experts have officially welcomed South Africa’s official removal from the UK’s Red List.
UK Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said SA was one of 47 destinations taken off the list and travel can resume from Monday, 11 October.
Shapps said passengers returning to England from any of the destinations will not need to stay at a quarantine hotel.
“I’m also making changes so travellers visiting England have fewer entry requirements, by recognising those with fully-vax status from 37 new countries and territories including India, Turkey and Ghana, treating them the same as UK fully vax passengers,” he said.
Shapps said the measures announced mark the next step as the UK continues to open travel and provide stability for passengers and the industry while remaining on track to keep travel open for good.
UPDATE: From Monday (11th Oct) 📅 I’ll be cutting 47 destinations from our red list – including South Africa, with just 7 countries and territories remaining ⚠️ – all others will be included in the “rest of world” category 🌐 [1/3]
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) October 7, 2021
SA travel experts have hailed the news.
“After months of lobbying by various industry bodies such as SATSA and ASATA and lengthy discussions between scientists and our President and the British Prime Minister, 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,” said Flight Centre Travel Group MD Andrew Stark.
Corporate Traveller GM Oz Desai said the removal of South Africa from the UK red list from 11 October is a game-changer for SA business travellers.
“Until now, the expensive and lengthy quarantine requirement has been a major deterrent for business travellers,” Desai said.
Rhino Africa Safaris CEO David Ryan said if German and French markets provide any indication for pent up demand and a resumption of travel, a removal of SA from the red list will certainly allow for a surge in last-minute bookings for the December holiday season.
Destinations like Cape Town, the Garden Route and Kruger are top of the list for travellers. The UK is South Africa’s no 1 Tourism source market.