The UK will soon allow non-quarantine travel for almost all countries, including South Africa, according to a Sunday Telegraph report.
Current measures imposed by the UK government only allow entry to UK and Irish nationals from high-risk countries – commonly known as Red List countries – who are required to self-quarantine at hotels managed by the government.
However, Reuters reports that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to allow fully vaccinated arrivals from countries like South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia for quarantine-free travel to hotels later this week, citing the Sunday Telegraph.
The Sunday Newspaper reported that the UK’s red list of destinations would be reduced to nine from 54, with the announcement due on Thursday (October 7).
The UK’s hotel quarantine policy for high-risk countries costs £ 2,285 per adult (Rand 46,000), placing a huge financial burden on potential travelers to the country.
Reuters reported that the country is already planning to relax its travel rules from October 4 by removing its amber list for medium-risk destinations and no longer requiring fully vaccinated passengers to take a Covid-19 test before d ” arrive in the country from places not on the red list.
“The government has said that from the end of October, arrivals to England will no longer have to take a PCR test two days after arrival and can instead opt for the cheaper lateral flow test.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa said in remarks to the country earlier this week that he had spoken with Johnson to discuss the UK’s red list of South Africa.
“This has put us at a disadvantage as the UK is South Africa’s largest source of tourism from the northern hemisphere and an important trading partner.
“While British scientists were concerned about the presence of the Beta variant in South Africa, the reality is that the Delta variant is now by far the dominant variant in the country,” said the president.
Ramaphosa said he submitted the South Africa case to the British Prime Minister, “which he understood very well”.
“We both agreed that decisions of this nature should be informed by science and we hope for a positive outcome when the matter is considered in the coming days,” the president said.
Read: UK to review South Africa’s travel ban on Red List in next 2 weeks