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South Africa removed from UK Red List welcomed

​Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has welcomed the United Kingdom’s decision to remove South Africa from a list of countries in their red list, thus opening British travellers to visit South Africa without requiring hotel quarantine upon return.

The review of the UK's traffic light travel system announced on Thursday 07 October moved South Africa out of the red list.

The decision is based on a reduction in Covid19 cases, increase in the number of vaccinations as well as the South African government’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

This comes shortly after Minister Sisulu held a stakeholder engagement session with all tourism stakeholder and encouraged them to spread the word for tourist operators and tourists to vaccinate.

South Africa moved to adjusted alert level 1 which reduced the hours of curfew, increased the numbers permitted at gatherings and extended hours when alcohol can be purchased.  South Africa remains open for international travel, with ease of air travel connectivity to all our major cities and  the rest of the Southern African region

The vaccine roll-out is continuing momentum, with over 18% of the South African population partially vaccinated and around 1 million doses are administered every four to five days.

“We are delighted to see the UK restrictions on travel to South Africa have been lifted, following a successful vaccine rollout in South Africa, and continued decline in new COVID-19 cases. 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,” says Minister of Tourism Sisulu.

The UK is an important market for South Africa

Tourism is one of South Africa’s key contributors to the country’s economy and government is committed to the tourism sector recovery post the Covid19 pandemic. The United Kingdom plays a crucial role in the country’s recovery as an important and biggest source market for tourism arrivals into South Africa. In 2019 the destination welcomed 466, 841 British travellers, which was a 1.4% increase when compared to the previous year.  

Consideration for South Africa remains stable

A consumer study conducted by South African Tourism and YouGov* in March 2021 showed that the British public’s intent to travel to the destination remained stable despite a turbulent year.  South Africa offers travellers wide open spaces and outdoor natural landscapes, something which the country has an abundance of – from the desert plains of the Kalahari, the green vineyards of the Western Cape, the striking Drakensberg in Kwazulu-Natal, and the wild and rugged coastline of the Eastern Cape.  

With trends showing that the post-COVID traveller is looking to take more meaningful, responsible trips in the future**, 2021 & 2022 will see travellers choosing to make a positive impact in the way they travel.

“Travellers to South Africa can be assured that their travel to our destination will not only be unforgettable as they come to enjoy authentic and immersive experiences of our country but positively benefit local communities. This, coupled with our responsible tourism standards, and conservation efforts and protecting our natural landscapes, makes South Africa a perfect destination for the British intrepid traveller,” adds Minister Sisulu.


Steve Motale, Ministry Spokesperson
Cell: 083 784 0719


Mpumzi Zuzile, MLO
Cell: 072 550 9019