UK on South Africa high-risk list
The way South Africa has reopened has been something of a shambles. With the border due to open on 1 October, it was not announced until 30 September which countries would be allowed in. Sadly the UK is not one of them. The list prevents travellers who have been a high-risk country in the last 10 days from entering South Africa.
The list of high-risk countries are:
The list of countries currently considered high risk, and from which ordinary tourists are not allowed is, in full:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- North Macedonia
- Puerto Rico
- United Emirates
- United Kingdom
For some ridiculous reason, Spain which has one of the highest rates in Europe is not on the list! It does not really instill confidence that the S African government has the right figures as they initially left Brazil off too! The list will be reviewed every 2 weeks.
If you desperately need to go there is a way around it, a bit like visiting the US. The government statement said “”If the passport of the traveller from a high-risk country indicates that he/she has spent 10 days or more in a low-risk country before departure, he/she will be considered to be arriving from a low-risk country,”
Germany is a good option as that is on the allowed country list and there are direct flights to South Africa. They were the first European airport to land there.
Here we go: Lufthansa and SWISS are the first European airlines to resume operations to South Africa, after the country reopened the borders. LH572 was already warmly welcomed this morning! Flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town are now available. pic.twitter.com/zOS9YHxTIs
— Lufthansa News (@lufthansaNews) October 1, 2020
If you want an alternative to South Africa and don’t mind quarantine, Namibia’s borders are open to tourists. If you’re travelling to Namibia you’re required to present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival, taken no more than 72 hours before entry. You may also have to have a second test during your stay.
Surprise as UK removes Turkey from safe list
The UK government has just announced that they will remove Turkey, Poland, and Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba from the TravelCorridor list this week. This means if you arrive from these destinations from 4am Saturday 3 October, you will need to self-isolate.
Turkey came as a surprise to many as it was well below the criteria of 20 per 100,000 cases per week. Turkey was at 12.9 per 100,000 but had varied very little recently. Apparently, the UK Joint Biosecurity Centre has taken a closer look at the figures which seemed to have bucked the trend of almost every other country in Europe. Yesterday Turkey’s Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca said the number of daily new COVID-19 “patients,” defined as those who are symptomatic, was more important than the number of new “cases,” i.e. those who do not show symptoms. Since the end of July Turkey has been publishing the data for patients only.
Hawaii reopening 15 October for US tourists
Hawaii will now be relaxing the mandatory 14-day quarantine policy as of Thursday, 15 October 2020, allowing US travelers to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test instead. If you are coming from the UK you still can’t enter the US unless you have spent 14 days elsewhere in an allowed country directly before. However, if and when the US borders reopen (predicted to be after the election in November), it means Hawaii is on the table again.
You will have to provide written confirmation from a state-approved COVID-19 testing facility of a negative test result from a test administered to the traveler within 72 hours from the departure of the final leg to Hawaii. Luckily many of the airlines are starting to offer this service. American Airlines said on Tuesday that it will offer coronavirus tests to passengers, joining United Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue Airways in rolling out preflight testing. AA will offer testing for Hawaii at a centre in Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Hawaiin airlines will have drive-through centres in Los Angeles and San Francisco. United’s pilot program for testing passengers travelling from San Francisco International Airport to Hawaii on the airline will begin mid-October.