South Africa travel restrictions from the UK explained

Here’s what you need to know
Cape Town South Africa
Getty Images 

On Tuesday 14 December 2021, the UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced that South Africa would be taken off the red list from Wednesday 15 December – three weeks after being put on it in November 2021. 

Here's what you need to know now. 

Is travel to South Africa from the UK allowed?

Yes. There are currently no countries on the UK's red list, and, as of the end of March 2022, the government no longer manages any quarantine hotels. What's more, as of 18 March, there are no Covid travel rules in the UK, which means that those returning from South Africa do not need to test, quarantine or fill in a passenger locator form, regardless of their vaccination status. 

What are the entry requirements for South Africa?

Fully vaccinated travellers do not need to take a coronavirus test to travel to South Africa. They are only required to present a vaccination certificate during travel and upon arrival. Travellers who are not fully vaccinated must provide a valid certificate of a negative Covid-19 PCR test which was obtained no more than 72 hours before the date of travel to South Africa. If you hope to use a proof of Covid recovery certificate instead, check with your nearest South African Embassy or High Commission before travel. Children under five do not require a PCR test to enter South Africa, while children aged five and over must present a PCR test or proof of vaccination on arrival.

Your passport must be valid for at least 30 days after the date you intend to leave South Africa. Before travelling, it’s important to check the latest rules and restrictions for both South Africa and the UK on official government websites. We also recommend investing in travel insurance with Covid cover to ensure you’re protected on your trip.