The latest update for South Africans travelling to England

The latest update for South Africans travelling to England. Image credit: AdobeStock

The latest update for South Africans travelling to England

(Partner Content) A red list country means that any person who has been in or through such a country in the last ten days will not be allowed to enter England.

The latest update for South Africans travelling to England

The latest update for South Africans travelling to England. Image credit: AdobeStock

South Africa is currently on the UK’s “red list travel ban countries”. 

However, if you are a British, or Irish national, or have residence rights in the UK, you can enter. Residence rights will include any visa or permit that allow you to live and work in the UK. E.g. Ancestral visa, Settlement visa or Skilled worker visa. Thus, South Africans are still allowed to enter England if they have a relevant and valid visa or permit. 

Note that separate rules apply for Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Please seek advice if you are travelling there. 

Hotel Quarantine 

From 15 February 2021, everyone who is allowed to enter England who has passed through or visited South Africa or another red list country have to do the following: 

  • Quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel for ten days, and 
  • Take a Covid-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining, and 
  • Follow the national lockdown rules of England.  

The day of the arrival in England is counted as day 0. 

The cost of the hotel quarantine is £1,750 for 1 adult in 1 room for 10 days. The additional rate for another adult or child over 12 years of age is £650. The additional rate for a child between 5 and 12 years of age is £325. 

Steps to take before you travel to England 

Persons travelling to England from a red list country have to follow these steps before they travel:  

  • Take a Covid-19 test 3 days before you travel. If your test is negative, you will be allowed to travel. 
  • You have to book the managed quarantine hotel. The quarantine package will include transport and the test package for the Covid tests you have to take on day 2 and day 8. It will also include food, accommodation, security and other essential services. 

Exemptions from Quarantine rules

Certain jobs qualify for exemption from the quarantine rules. Please follow this link to find out more –

Fines for breaking quarantine rules

Travellers have to be 100% honest about the information they provide on the passenger locator form. Passengers providing inaccurate details about any country they visited ten days before arrival may be fined up to £10,000. They may also face imprisonment of up to ten years or both. 

More information 

The UK Government has information available on all aspects of the hotel quarantine issue. You can read more at this link:

Updated Travel Advice 

Please note that Breytenbachs will, unfortunately, not be able to provide readers with travel advice. We strongly recommend that travellers speak directly with their airlines or travel agents for the most up to date advice.  Travel rules are now changing very frequently, and airlines and travel agents are informed of these immediately. 

How Breytenbachs can help you 

If you have any questions or issues with UK immigration matters, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please contact Breytenbachs at or visit us at 

Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes, without giving any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.