Cape Town – The Minister of Health Joe Phaahla has welcomed the removal of South Africa from the United Kingdom’s travel red list, saying it was exciting that Britain will recognise the country’s digital Covid-19 vaccine certificate.
South officially launched its first phase of the digital Covid-19 vaccine certificate on Friday.
The country was among 47 countries that were set to be removed from the UK travel red list from Monday.
“But even more exciting for us was the announcement by the UK that they will be recognising this certificate which we’re launching this morning.
“So many people who have been waiting for business trips, visit family and friends or to go on study in the UK will now know that you can do so without having to need to do attend a quarantine when they arrive in London, and other UK destinations,” EWN quoted Phaahla as saying
South Africa has so far dispensed over 18.7 million coronavirus vaccine doses.
UK secretary of state for transport Grant Shapps on Thursday made an announcement on Twitter that only seven countries remained on the country’s red list, and their citizens travelling to the UK would still be required to undergo a mandatory quarantine period.
“From Monday (11th Oct) I’ll be cutting 47 destinations from our red list – including South Africa, with just 7 countries and territories remaining.
I’m also making changes so travellers visiting England have fewer entry requirements, by recognising those with fully-vax status 💉 from 37 new countries and territories including India, Turkey and Ghana, treating them the same as UK fully vax passengers. [2/3]
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) October 7, 2021
“I’m also making changes so travellers visiting England have fewer entry requirements, by recognising those with fully vax status from 37 new countries and territories including India, Turkey and Ghana, treating them the same as UK fully vax passengers,”
“The measures announced … mark the next step as we continue to open up travel and provide stability for passengers while remaining on track to keep travel open for good,” Shapps announced on Twitter.
According to Times Live, the UK had insisted on keeping SA on its travel red list apparently due to inaccurate information received from a rogue scientist based in the country.
“This scientist, according to international relations minister Naledi Pandor, was telling UK scientists that they disagreed with the data from SA on its fight against Covid-19. This prompted a meeting between the ministerial advisory committee and the UK at which correct data was shared,” the report said.
Picture: Getty Images
Compiled by Betha Madhomu