Collective relief as SA is removed from the UK’s red list
Following months of lobbying and discussions between South Africa and the UK’s governments, it was announced that South Africa would be removed from the UK’s red list from 11 October 2021.

Travellers between South Africa and the United Kingdom (UK) can look forward to eased requirements as an announcement made earlier this week by the Department of Tourism means that from Monday, 11 October 2021, South Africa will be removed from the UK’s red list. An advisory on the UK government’s website reflects this.

“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,” noted Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Tourism, in an official statement given by the Department of Tourism.

Important market

Tourism is a key economic contributor in South Africa, and the recovery of the sector is an ongoing priority by the country’s government post the Covid-19 pandemic. The UK plays an especially important role in the country’s recovery as its largest source market for international arrivals. In 2019, South Africa welcomed 466 841 British travellers – a 1.4% increase compared to the previous year.

“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,” highlights Minister Sisulu.

Lobbying to get South Africa off the UK’s red list

Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) hosted a webinar on Friday, 08 October 2021, to unpack the real story around the lobby to have South Africa removed from the red list, and why this is so important for South Africa and its tourism industry.

Unpacking the issue were:

o             David Frost, CEO of SATSA

o             Monika Iuel, Chief Marketing Officer Wesgro

o             Gillian Saunders, Independent Tourism and Hospitality Consultant

o             Busisiwe Mavuso, Chief Executive Officer of Business Leadership South Africa

If you missed the session or if you would like to revisit it, you can view the recording below:

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