NEWS: UK on S Africa high risk list, Surprise as UK removes Turkey from safe list and Hawaii reopening

Near Franschhoek South Africa

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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:

  • Albania                 
  • Argentina                 
  • Armenia                 
  • Austria                 
  • Bahrain                 
  • Belgium                 
  • Bolivia                 
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil             
  • Chile             
  • Columbia         
  • Costa Rica         
  • Croatia             
  • Czech Republic     
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador         
  • France            
  • Georgia         
  • Greece             
  • Guatemala         
  • Guyana            
  • Honduras         
  • Hungary        
  • Iceland             
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon                 
  • Luxembourg                 
  • Maldives               
  • Malta              
  • Mexico                 
  • Moldova                 
  • Montenegro                          
  • Nepal             
  • Netherlands       
  • North Macedonia       
  • Oman            
  • Palestine         
  • Panama       
  • Paraguay          
  • Peru             
  • Portugal        
  • Puerto Rico         
  • Qatar             
  • Romania      
  • Russia  
  • Slovakia                                
  • Suriname
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • Venezuela    

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.


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.

Dead Camelthorn Trees against red dunes and blue sky in Deadvlei, Sossusvlei. Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia, Africa


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

Turtle Bay Resort review Oahu

Oahu’s North Shore

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.




3 Comments on "NEWS: UK on S Africa high risk list, Surprise as UK removes Turkey from safe list and Hawaii reopening"

  1. Hi, I was due to fly to Turkey on Wednesday but had to cancel my flight due to today’s announcement. Has anyone got COVID test for travel in Edinburgh and can share their experience? Looking at Cyprus instead

  2. Surprised (or not) that it took the government so long to realise that the turkey figures were suspect given there were questions being raised about quality of their figures from quite early on in the pandemic

  3. No surprise UK isn’t allowed into South Africa but agree that list developed by South African Govt seems very inconsistent
    List of high risk countries says ‘Columbia’, presume you meant Colombia.

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