October 16, 2021

South Africans rush to book flights as travel restrictions ease – here’s where they are going

South Africa’s elimination from the UK’s travel purple checklist on 11 October has resulted in a flood of travel enquiries and bookings, says the Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG).

Within the hours and days following the announcement, the group mentioned that the UK has shortly grow to be probably the most booked worldwide vacation spot for South Africans.

It famous that Mauritius and Dubai had been the 2 most booked worldwide locations for South Africans earlier than the UK’s travel restrictions have been eased.

Mauritius opened its nation up for travellers on 1 October 2021, with absolutely vaccinated South Africans allowed to keep at any lodge, resort or lodging of their selection and transfer freely across the island.

Unvaccinated travellers have to bear 14 days of quarantine in a state-designated quarantine facility. The UAE opened travel to South Africans on the finish of June. Passengers are required to take a PCR check earlier than leaving and on arrival at Dubai Worldwide airport.

“We have been inundated with enquiries for travel to the UK since the long-overdue announcement by the British government on Thursday evening,” mentioned Andrew Stark, FCTG managing director.

“There’s been a massive spike in enquiries and bookings across our retail travel booking channels and brands, including on our website, in our Flight Centre stores and through Flight Centre Independent.”

The variety of new air tickets issued from South Africa with London as the ultimate vacation spot has elevated fivefold since 7 October, mentioned Sue Garrett, common supervisor Provide, Pricing and Advertising and marketing at FCTG.

“The majority of air tickets booked have been for departure in November and December 2021. We estimate that many of these bookings are for South Africans finally making plans to reunite with family and friends over the December and January holidays,” she mentioned.

Passengers do not need to quarantine when arriving within the UK, supplied they have proof of their vaccination standing.

Travellers will need to have had a whole course of one of many following vaccines at the very least 14 days earlier than you arrive within the UK:

  • Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • Pfizer BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

Travel restrictions 

As well as to the UK’s purple checklist announcement on Monday, the Russian Federation opened its borders to absolutely vaccinated travellers from South Africa this week.

Russia’s rules state {that a} PCR check is required inside 72 hours earlier than arrival and on-line registration no later than 48 hours earlier than arrival.

mapping device developed by travel web site Skyscanner exhibits that as of 14 October, South Africa has 65 ‘major restrictions’ from different international locations in place. That is up from round 60 important restrictions earlier than the third Covid wave hit.

These international locations have suspended travel, could also be closed to entry, or might solely be attainable if you happen to are a citizen/meet strict entrance necessities.

By comparability, there are at present 39 reasonable restrictions for South Africa, where travel is feasible, however provided that travellers meet particular entry necessities, together with taking Covid-19 assessments.

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