The Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) welcomes the announcement today by the UK Government that from 4am on Wednesday 15 December 2021, South Africa will be removed from the UK’s red list.
“We are simply delighted that reason and fact have prevailed and that travel between South Africa and the UK is once again open,” says Euan McNeil, Managing Director Flight Centre Travel Group South Africa.
“This not only means that South Africans can reunite with their loved ones over the festive season but is welcome news for the travel and tourism industry. The UK is one of our largest source markets so the knee-jerk decision on 26 November to place South Africa on the red list was absolutely devastating for outbound and inbound travel. It put our economy, and the millions of jobs employed in these sectors, at risk.”
“We continue to work closely with all our travel suppliers and are hopeful that full air access can resume as soon as possible so that there is enough capacity to service the expected demand.”
As the information currently stands:
- Any travellers currently in quarantine will need to remain there.
- All testing requirements remain in place, such as a Covid-19 PCR test taken in the two days before travel to England.
- A Covid-19 PCR test needs to be pre-booked prior to travel and taken after arrival in England.
- A passenger locator form needs to be completed within 48 hours of arrival in England.
- Travellers will be required to self-isolate until they receive their test result.
- If you are in England for less than 2 days, you still need to book and pay for a day 2 Covid-19 test. You must quarantine until you receive a negative test result, or until you leave England (whichever is sooner).
- Isolation/quarantine would no longer take place at a quarantine hotel/facility.
Travellers can visit the gov.uk website for more details.
“The easing of the travel ban and the lifting of the quarantine requirements is fantastic news for South African business travellers for whom the costly quarantine was a major deterrent. This significant decision by the UK government hopefully signals an end to the ad hoc and arbitrary introductions of travel bans in the future. It will also go a long way to help the recovery of the corporate travel sector and boost travel confidence.”
“We are confident other destinations will follow suit and open to South Africa once more. New South Wales in Australia, for example, is also opening to South Africans from 15 December. This gives more travellers the opportunity to finally reconnect with their loved ones over the festive season,” concludes McNeil.