'No reasonable basis' for UK to keep SA on travel red list, says Pandor

The department of international relations and cooperation says it will intensify its efforts to get SA off the UK's red list.
The department of international relations and cooperation says it will intensify its efforts to get SA off the UK's red list.
Image: Alaister Russell

International relations and co-operation (Dirco) minister Naledi Pandor said on Sunday there was “no reasonable basis” for the decision to keep SA on the red list of countries facing stringent restrictions and high costs when entering the UK.

Dirco said it would work with stakeholders to intensify efforts to have SA removed from the UK’s red list.

This follows the latest notice by the UK updated on Friday, which kept SA on the red list, meaning that travellers will be subject to stringent restrictions when entering the UK. 

Below are the conditions of entry to the UK for those travelling from a red list country:

Travel from red countries:

From 4am Monday October 4, you must follow these rules if you are:

  • fully vaccinated
  • partially vaccinated
  • not vaccinated

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish national or you have residence rights in the UK.

Before you travel to England, you must:

  • Take a pre-departure Covid-19 Test, to be taken in the three days before you travel to England
  • Book a quarantine hotel package, including two Covid-19 tests
  • Complete your passenger locator form — any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England

Dirco said in a statement that Pandor was optimistic that the UK government would finally realise that its decision not only harmed the tourism industry but other businesses from both countries.

“We firmly believe there is no reasonable basis for keeping SA on the red list and I am very disappointed,” said Pandor.

Dirco said the SA government was puzzled by the UK decision to keep SA on the red list.

“Thousands of families and business people in SA and the UK are shocked at this continued exclusion, especially given SA’s progress in combating the Covid-19 pandemic as evidenced by the rapid declining infection rates due to a robust vaccination programme and excellent science,” said Dirco.

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