Travel to the UK from South Africa during pandemic

Travel to UK from SA

Breytenbachs has good news for persons who need to travel to the UK from South Africa, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Department of Home Affairs in South Africa has approved essential travel for South Africans who want to return to countries where they are based. They will be allowed to depart for any of the following reasons; Work, Study, Family Reunion, to take up permanent residency and to receive medical attention.

South Africans wanting to return to the UK for any of the above reasons will need to provide the following;

  • A copy of their valid South African passport
  • A letter confirming their admissibility under the current circumstances from the embassy or other diplomatic/consular representative of the country they want to travel to. If returning by road or connecting via flights, the proof submitted needs to include permission from each transiting country.
  • Proof (details) of means of travel such as provisional airline booking, and the intended date of departure.

The Department of Home Affairs further said that South Africans who fall in these categories and satisfy the criteria can send an email to You have to indicate your surname, intended date of travel and mode of travel (air (provisional flight details, land (country and port of entry) or maritime port) in the subject of your email send to 

An email will be sent to travellers who meet the criteria to enable them to proceed with their travel arrangements. Persons applying as a group can send one email with the supporting documents for each member of the group.

The DHA said that you have to allow at least five working days for processing of your request. Where an earlier departure date is noted in your subject, the Department will try to assist with such requests in line with the intended departure date.