routes to Europe

Two airlines offer new routes between South Africa and Europe. Image: Unsplash

Arrivals from South Africa into the UK ‘must pay R30k’ for hotel quarantine

The UK’s list of high-risk countries, which puts new arrivals into a ‘forced hotel quarantine’, will now include South Africa.

routes to Europe

Two airlines offer new routes between South Africa and Europe. Image: Unsplash

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to detail new quarantine rules for the UK this week – as the country battles to stop the spread of new COVID-19 variants. Around 30 countries will be put on Britain’s ‘high-risk’ list, including South Africa.

What will it cost to quarantine in the UK?

The new rules will require any residents arriving from the listed countries to quarantine in a designated hotel for 10 days. It will mainly affect Britons and UK citizens returning to the country. The plans mirror those implemented in Australia, and people coming back from Portugal, Cape Verde, Brazil – and possibly the UAE – will be added to the high-risk list.

Passengers arriving from anywhere is this multi-country cohort will also be asked to fund the cost of their own quarantine. Johnson’s government will set the fee at £1 500 – translating to roughly R30 000.

Arrivals from South Africa into UK ‘face hefty charges’

As Bloomberg has reported, The decision was made by ministers at a meeting Tuesday night, where they discussed a range of options for tightening border controls. Britain is set to hand out its seven millionth vaccine on Wednesday, as their immunisation programme continues to succeed where their lockdown policies did not.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is concerned about the South African variant of COVID-19 more than he is about the UK’s domestic strain. The government does not want anything to undermine this rollout, and they’re preparing to take their firmest steps yet. However, the policy has been criticised by the Labour Party, who say measures ‘do not go far enough’.

Ireland also changes quarantine rules for SA travellers

Meanwhile, there’s bad news for Irish residents returning from South Africa – they too will be subjected to a costly period in quarantine, after the government announced a suspension for visa-free short stay travel.