Sable International

Updated UK entry requirements. Image : File

Off the red list at last: Updated entry requirements for the UK

After South Africa’s recent removal from the UK’s red list, here are the requirements South Africans must meet to enter the United Kingdom.

Sable International

Updated UK entry requirements. Image : File

Effective Wednesday 15 December, the United Kingdom ditched its contentious Red List. This means that all non-UK citizens, non-Irish citizens and non-permanent visa holders are allowed to enter the United Kingdom without having to stay in quarantine hotels.

This may come as good news for South Africans eager to travel to the UK to spend time with family or friends over the festive season. However, the price of flight tickets is likely to be alarmingly high. Here are the updated entry requirements.


Fully vaccinated travellers from over 37 countries and territories including South Africa, will now be treated the same as returning fully vaccinated UK residents but are still subject to testing requirements and a shorter self-isolation period if in-country PCR test results are negative.

Both the Pfizer BioNTech and the Janssen (single dose) vaccines administered in South Africa are listed as approved vaccines for entry to the UK.   


Vaccinated South Africans wishing to travel to the United Kingdom will have to comply with the following entry requirements:

  • Present a COVID-19 test which was taken 2 days before travelling to the UK
  • Book and pay for a COVID-19 PCR test – to be taken after arrival in the UK
  • Complete a Passenger locator form – in the 48 hours before arriving in the UK
  • Self-isolation until a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (taken in the UK) is received


Before arriving in the UK fully vaccinated South Africans must:


Airlines operating flights between South Africa and the United Kingdom are expected to ramp up their flight schedules in the coming days as passenger volumes on the route are expected to increase, in light of the eased entry restrictions.  

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