Travellers entering the UK from South Africa will now be forced to fork out around £1,500 or R31,200 for 10 days in hotel lockdown…

These measures were officially announced by the British government on Wednesday. South Africa is one of a list of 30 ‘high risk’ countries from which travellers will be forced to quarantine.

The measures are being put in place in order to stop the spread of any new variants of the new coronavirus as the UK embarks on its vaccination programme.

Speaking at the media conference to release the new directives, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel had some harsh words for influencers who claimed that their travels overseas were part of their ‘work’.

“Going on holiday is not a valid reason to travel,” she emphasised. She said “people should be staying at home unless they have a valid reason to leave.”

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson also emphasised the ‘stay at home’ directive.

“I want to make clear that under the stay at home regulations, it is illegal to leave home to travel abroad for leisure purposes and we will enforce this at ports and airports by asking people why they are leaving and instructing them to return home if they do not have a valid reason to travel.”

Travel ban for high risk countries

“We have also banned all travel from 22 countries where there is a risk of known variants including South Africa, Portugal and South American nations,” noted Johnson.

This means that no leisure travellers may enter the country. However, British and Irish nationals, long-term visa holders and residents can enter. BUT they must quarantine for 10 days.

US has also implemented strict measures against travellers from high risk countries

The United States will also be implementing strict measures against high risk countries (including South Africa) as of Saturday, 30 January 2021. Travellers from South Africa will not be allowed into the US. Only US citizens will be exempt from these restrictions but will then have to adhere to quarantine requirements and undergo Covid-19 testing.


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What will hotel quarantine look like?

Australia implemented hotel quarantine in March 2020 where travellers were forced to stay for 14 days. China, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand Singapore and Thailand have all implemented some form of the hotel quarantine regulations throughout the pandemic.

Quarantine time ranges from 10-14 days.

Here’s how it’s worked in other countries:

  • Travellers are transported by bus from the airport to the designated quarantine hotels
  • Food is delivered to their doors in covered containers, and dropped outside their rooms
  • Depending on the UK regulations, they may be allowed to receive one takeaway meal delivery per day
  • Those in quarantine are NOT allowed to leave their rooms for any reason unless there’s a medical emergency
  • In some countries, visitors’ temperatures and blood pressure are checked twice daily
  • Travellers are required to take a Covid test before they are released from quarantine


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What countries are on the ‘high risk’ list for 10-day forced quarantine?






Cape Verde



Democratic Republic of Congo



French Guiana











Portugal (incl Madeira & Azores)


South Africa







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