The UK government has from today (Monday) removed South Africa and 46 other countries from its ‘red list’ of travel.
Seven countries remain on the ‘red list’ and these are Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Venezuela and Peru.
“We are delighted to see the UK restrictions on travel to South Africa lifted, following a successful vaccine rollout in SA, and continued decline in new Covid-19 cases,” Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was quoted as saying by the South African.
“We look forward to welcoming our British visitors in time for the South African summer season and we will continue to work tirelessly with all our national and international partners to ensure the success of South Africa’s tourism recovery.”
South Africa was among the most popular destinations for UK travellers in 2019, accounting for 7% of international visitor spending, representing R9.4 billion, according to the WTTC’s annual Economic Impact Report (EIR) report.
International visitor spending dropped 66%, from more than R134 billion in 2019 to just R46 billion in 2020 due to COVID-19.
UK travellers, vaccinated or not, travelling to countries on the ‘red list’ were required to defray the cost of a 10-day hotel quarantine upon returning to the UK.
This discouraged most tourists from travelling.
A recent study by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) showed that the South African economy lost over R180 million every week it remained on the UK’s ‘red list’ for travel.