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South Africa to be removed from UK travel red list from Oct 11

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South Africa to be removed from UK travel red list from Oct 11

7th October 2021

By: Bloomberg

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The UK eased entry rules for 47 countries that were subject to the tightest Covid-19 restrictions, in the government’s latest step to shed travel curbs and revive tourism-dependent businesses.

South Africa is among the countries that will be removed from the UK's travel red list from October 11.

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Only seven countries will remain on the so-called red list after changes take effect on Monday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Thursday on Twitter. Visitors from those countries still require a ten-day hotel quarantine.

The UK is lightening border restrictions after frustrating airlines with constantly changing rules throughout most of the pandemic. A new system that does away with a complicated “traffic-light” approach took effect this week, and places including Turkey, Pakistan and the Maldives have already been taken off the red list.

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The latest move comes a day after Britain lifted advice against non-essential trips to 32 green list countries, including Ghana and Malaysia, a change the government said removes a barrier to getting travel insurance for visits there.

Shapps has even become an advocate for accelerating the pickup in international travel, organizing a meeting of G-7 ministers discuss vaccine passports and the timing of a US lifting of a ban on European visitors.

Despite the progress, the relaxation of UK rules hasn’t gone as far as the airline, hotel and restaurant industries would like.

Only certain vaccines are accepted in the UK, while some with World Health Organization approval for emergency are left out -- including shots developed by Chinese companies Sinopharm Group and Sinovac Biotech. Travelers from dozens of countries which have distributed those shots are subject to added testing or quarantine requirements.

Similarly, approved vaccinations must have been administered in countries and territories from which the UK accepts documentation. Shapps said Thursday that England will recognise 37 more countries, including India -- where the policy led to an outcry over fairness.

Britain averaged just under 39 000 daily new coronavirus cases over the past week, according to data compiled at Johns Hopkins University. Daily deaths averaged 110, well below peaks hit in January.

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