Restrictions are falling like dominoes, as more countries open up to vaccinated travellers and drop strict quarantine rules.
Happily, it is all before the big holiday season, too.
Two island holiday destinations, Thailand and Mauritius, as well as the Netherlands, are now open to South African citizens again, with only some restrictions set in place.
Most excitingly, the UK also appears to be loosening its travel ‘red list’, with plans to open up to more countries, including South Africa, later this week.
Thailand announced a “sandbox” scheme, which will grant tourists access to a single island for seven days before they will be allowed to travel more freely everywhere else in the country, reports Business Insider SA:
That allows fully-vaccinated South Africans to visit the sandbox sites Phuket, Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, and Ko Tao), Phang-Nga (Khao Lak and Ko Yao), and Krabi (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai and Railay Beach).
Mauritius, with an amazing 89% of its population jabbed at least once, is open to vaccinated visitors as long as they take a mandatory test on arrival and on day five of their stay, plus a pre-departure PCR test.
Unvaccinated folks who want to holiday in Mauritius will have to remain in resort bubbles for 14 days before being allowed freedom of movement.
For travel to the Netherlands, one would just need to present a vaccination certificate or a test certificate upon arrival.
Since September, many countries loved by South African travellers have opened up slowly but surely, including the Seychelles, Germany, Austria, and Canada.
Even Ireland opened up recently, providing a sneaky loophole for those wanting to avoid the heavy UK hotel quarantine costs.
But it looks like this sneaking won’t be necessary for much longer as the UK is set to announce on Thursday the slashing of its “red list” destinations down to nine (from 54).
The UK will then welcome fully vaccinated visitors from late October, who won’t need to cough up R40 000 to R50 000 for a 10-day hotel quarantine.
Reuters reports that this will include South Africa, as well as Brazil, Mexico, and Indonesia:
Britain is already planning to relax its travel rules from Oct. 4 by scrapping its amber list for medium risk destinations and no longer requiring fully vaccinated passengers to take a COVID-19 test before they arrive in the country from places not on the red list.
The government has said that from later in October, arrivals in England will no longer have to take a PCR test two days after arrival and can instead opt for the cheaper lateral flow test.
Let the booking, packing, and travelling commence.
[imagesource:here] For a brief moment back in 2017, Sibongile Mani was living the high ...
[imagesource:here] What is coffee spelt backwards? That's right, eeffoc. As in, I...
[imagesource:here] London has been dubbed the surveillance capital of Europe with its v...
[imagesource:here] Your average South African doesn't pay a great deal in taxes to SARS...
[imagesource: YouTube / Comedy Central] In recent years, studies into the healing effec...