The UK is moving towards the next stage of their international travel framework. This framework outlines a detailed roadmap of their route back to international travel. The resumption of international travel is vital for the economy and the general public too, allowing families and friends to reconnect and reunite again after many months apart. From the 17th of May, the UK will begin opening its borders again and this is sure to be good news for those counties who find themselves on the green list. Currently the red list still unfortunately includes most countries in the sub-Saharan region so, as South Africans, it seems as if we’re going to have to be patient a little longer before we can visit family and friends in the UK.

The new traffic-light system categorises countries as red, amber and green for travel into the UK .
  • Red countries: High-risk countries .
  • Amber countries: Moderate-risk countries.
  • Green countries: Low-risk countries.

This classification is based on the perceived risks associated with travel to those countries and the current travel restrictions in place. The new system will be used in combination with the governments vaccine-roll-out plan and is therefore being used to protect the public from  COVID-19 variants. The associated risks being evaluated in determining on which a country will appear on which list include the county’s rates of infection, the reliability of said country’s scientific data, the prevalence on any variants and the % of the country’s population that have been vaccinated.

At this stage it’s still not clear if the new system is applicable to only UK Citizens or if it will apply to foreign nationals too but once its in place, it will alleviate the need for residents to complete a   ” permission to travel” form and provide a valid reason for their travel abroad.

The UK government is currently still compiling the green and amber lists so we can’t give you those details right now but as soon as we have more details we will publish them on our website.

Red list travel ban countries

If you have been in or through any of the countries listed below in the previous 10 days, you will be refused entry to the UK.

If you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK, you will be able to enter. You must quarantine in a government approved hotel for 10 days.

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe