South Africa is one of the countries on the UK’s “red list travel ban countries.” The “red list travel ban” bans mean that a person who has travelled through such a listed country in the past ten days will not be allowed to enter England, without following the hotel quarantine rules. You can find all the “red list travel ban countries” here.
British nationals, Irish nationals, and persons who have residence rights in the UK can enter if they have travelled through a red list travel ban country, but then have to follow the hotel quarantine rules. Persons with residence rights will be any person who has a valid UK visa or permit that will allow the person to live and work in the UK. This would include visas such as the Ancestry visa, Skilled worker visa or spouse visa. Persons with such visas, including South Africans, can thus still enter England, provided that they follow the hotel quarantine rules.
It is important to note that Ireland, Scotland and Wales have their own restrictions and rules. Please seek advice if you are travelling there.
How Hotel Quarantine works
The day that you arrive in England will be counted as day 0.
Everyone who is allowed to enter England and who has passed through or visited South Africa or another red list country have to follow these rules:
- You have to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel for ten days, and
- Take a Covid-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining, and
- Follow all the other lockdown rules of England.
The cost of the hotel quarantine is £1,750 for 1 adult in 1 room for 10 days. There is an additional rate for another adult or child over 12 years of age of £650. If you have another child between the ages of 5 and 12 years, the rate will be £325.
What you need to do before you travel to England
Before you travel to England from a red list country it is important to take the following steps:
- You have to take a Covid-19 test 3 days before you travel. If your test is negative, you will be allowed to travel.
- Book a managed quarantine hotel. Included in the hotel quarantine package will be a test package for the Covid tests you have to take on day 2 and day 8. The package will also include food, accommodation, security and other essential services. Book the hotel quarantine at this link.
- Complete a passenger locator form
Hotel Quarantine and other quarantine exemptions
The UK Government has exempt some jobs from the quarantine rules. You can read more on the jobs that qualify for exemption here.
Fines and Imprisonment for breaking quarantine
Passengers have to make sure that they provide honest and accurate information on the passenger locator form. If you provide false information about any country you visited ten days before arrival, you may be fined up to £10,000. There is also possible imprisonment of up to ten years or both.
If you need more information on the hotel quarantine rules for England, please follow this link.
Travel Advice during Covid-19
Unfortunately, Breytenbachs cannot provide clients with travel advice. Please speak directly to your airline or travel agent for the most up to date advice. Travel rules are now changing almost daily, and airlines and travel agents are informed of these changes immediately.
How Breytenbachs can help you
If you need assistance with any UK immigration or nationality matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Please also see our article on the hotel quarantine increases from 12 August 2021.