Health Minister, Joe Phaahla says government is pleased with the removal of South Africa from the United Kingdom’s red list which requires travellers to do a mandatory 10-day quarantine in a hotel on arrival, at their own costs.
Fully vaccinated South Africans will now be allowed to enter the UK without having to quarantine.
Addressing a media briefing on Friday morning, Phaahla says, “We are also presently happy. Yesterday (Thursday) we were very pleased when the UK government announced that it has taken our country off from the red list, meaning more easy travel between people from South Africa and the United Kingdom.”
“But even more exciting for us was the announcement made by the UK that they will be recognising this certificate which we are launching this morning. So, I’m sure many people who have been waiting for business trips, to visit family and friends, to go or study in the UK will now know they can do so without having to do a 10-day quarantine,” he adds.
The Department of Health’s Milani Wolmarans says the certificate will make it easier for people to access countries that require proof of vaccination.
Wolmarans says this certificate will be recognised by most countries.
“Most of the countries on the globe would accept the digital vaccination certificate. It is however dependent on the policy of the country that you would be visiting and also what the verification requirements would be. So towards the last version of the certificate is where we will then start to share some of the security codes to be able to allow for different countries to do verification.”
The tourism sector has welcomed the delisting of South Africa from the red list. Pre-pandemic, the sector contributed about 8.6% of the country’s GDP and created 1.6 million direct and indirect jobs.
Tourism Business Council of South Africa CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa says, “We know that there are 470 000 jobs that have been lost or people sitting at home waiting to come back to work. That’s a huge number when it comes to South Africa and the fact that we have a high unemployment rate.”
“So vaccination openable is to get this 470 000 people to go back to work and it will enable us to get those that are back at work that may not be earning full wages to start to increase their wages, because we will be seeing a lot of demand coming through,” he adds.
Virtual briefing on COVID-19 and vaccination rollout plans: