Travelling to the UK from South Africa

Travelling to the UK

Breytenbachs has sourced the latest official information on travelling to the UK from South Africa.

However, please note that we cannot advise clients on travelling during the current pandemic. We recommend that clients liaise directly with their travel agents or airline for the most up to date information.

UK citizens in South Africa or persons with residency in the UK can liaise directly with the UK Consular in South Africa. Please phone them at +27(0)124217500.

Restrictions on passengers from South Africa

Breytenbachs have sourced the following information from the UK Government.

All direct flights from South Africa to the UK are suspended. Some countries, including some major transit destinations, have also cancelled flights from South Africa, or have introduced additional testing requirements. We therefore strongly advise that clients speak to their airlines or travel agents in all cases.

Covid-19 testing requirement

From 04h00 on Monday, 18 January 2021, the UK Government will require a pre-departure Covid-19 test for all inbound passengers to England.

Travellers by ship, plane or train have to provide a negative Covid-19 test before they travel. The test may not be older than three days.

This Covid-19 test requirement is in addition to any other current self-isolation requirements.

Airline and other transport operators will be required to check whether passengers have the negative Covid-19 test result before they board. They may deny boarding where passengers do not have such a test. The Border Force will also conduct their checks on arrival in England.

Should a passenger arrive in England without the negative Covid-19 test, they will get a fine.  The fines will start at £500. Transport operators can also get a fine for non-compliance.

Passengers who are travelling to England from the Common Travel Area will be exempt from this requirement.

Children under the age of 11 years will not be required to fulfil the Covid-19 testing requirement.

For the latest update on the Covid-19 test requirement, we recommend that clients read the Home Office guidance in this regard.


Visitors to the UK,  who have been in SA or have transited through South Africa in the previous ten days, will not be permitted entry to the UK.

Thus, persons who only hold a visit visa for travel to the UK will not be permitted to enter the UK if they have been in South Africa in the past ten days.

British Citizens, Irish Citizens and third-country nationals with UK residence rights

British Citizens, Irish Citizens and third-country nationals with UK residence rights can enter the UK via indirect routes from South Africa.

They will be required to complete a passenger locator form.

Such persons will after arrival in the UK have to self-isolate for ten days, with their household.

Travelling internationally from the UK

Visitors in the UK are allowed to return home. However,  they should check with their travel agent or airline about restrictions in place at their destination.

Due to the current lockdown rules in the UK, all other travellers can only travel abroad if they have a legally permitted reason. You can find out more at the following link

How Breytenbachs can help you

If you need specific advice on UK immigration or SA Immigration law, contact us at [email protected]

However; please note that we cannot advise on travel-specific issues during the current pandemic. We recommend that travellers speak to their travel agents or airlines for up to date information and advice.