Image: Adobe Stock
Image: Adobe Stock
The United Kingdom (UK ) have announced Friday afternoon that they will scrap the traffic light system previously used to approve incoming migration of fully vaccinated travellers from countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and shift to an alternative system of entry – but this hasn’t given travellers from South Africa a better chance of getting into the country.
The UK Transport head Grant Shapps delivered welcome news to the British public on Friday, saying that more countries will now be able to enter the country, however South Africa remains on the notorious “red list”, which stipulates that travellers from our shores must endure a mandatory quarantine period upon entering the country.
Turkey, Pakistan and the Maldives are among the eight countries that are no longer on the red list, while SA, – which has reported vastly fewer concerning COVID-19 infection reports over the pat 14-days, remains.
Speaking during a briefing on Friday 17 September, Shapp said that the UK government has resolved to “simplify” their existing rubric and now monitor a “a single red list” along with “simplified measures for the rest of the world – striking the right balance to manage the public health risk as No.1 priority”. This, he said, will begin on 4 October.
“From Mon 4 October, if you’re fully vaccinated, you won’t need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country,” said Shapp
He continued, saying that “from later in October, travellers from countries removed from the red list “will be able to replace the day two PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow”.
David Frost, CEO of the South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA), said that the latest news out of the UK is a “kick in the teeth”.
“This is a kick in the teeth for 1.5 million South African tourism workers who were relying on UK visitors this spring. There isn’t a shred of scientific evidence to support keeping South Africa on the red list and the only conclusion left is that the UK government has an irrational fear of South Africa which is prejudicing decision-making,” he said.
“The UK government needs to urgently reconsider this classification to avoid irreparable harm to a relationship with a key ally and trading partner.”
This is a developing story.