South Africa: UK, SA Experts Meet Over Red List Status

A social grants queue in South Africa (file photo).
28 September 2021

The Department of Health on Monday confirmed that the United Kingdom would consider the data provided by South African government scientists in their next review of its red list within 14 days.

This comes after the local government experts had a meeting with their UK counterparts over the red list of high-risk countries.

The island country has tighter travel restrictions in place to reduce the introduction and transmission of new variants of COVID-19 from countries that the UK government says should not be visited "except in the most extreme of circumstances".

This means that travellers returning to the UK from South Africa must spend 10 days in quarantine at their own expense, even though they are vaccinated.

According to the department, the talks also included the latest trends around COVID-19, testing strategies and the prevalence and risk posed to our vaccination programmes by variants of concern.

The meeting was set up by the UK High Commission and the South African government to ensure the most up-to-date and accurate sharing of information.

"The insights provided will feed into the next review of UK border measures, which is due to take place within the next fortnight," the statement read.

The UK and local experts also discussed the recognition of each other's vaccine certificates.

"The UK side explained that, following some initial pilots, it was now seeking to extend its recognition of vaccine certificates around the world as rapidly as possible."

According to the department's statement, the UK expressed its willingness to take forward discussions with the SA government on this matter.

Both governments said they support and recognise the importance of vaccination as a way out of the pandemic.

"The UK expressed its gratitude to SA experts for their willingness to share both data and expertise."

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