SA govt holds talks with UK on travel, vaccine policies

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 (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

SA officials said government scientific experts met with UK counterparts to discuss the country’s ongoing presence on a list of nations banned due to Covid-19 risks, alongside a decision not to recognise coronavirus vaccines administered locally. 

The outcomes will be considered as part of the next review of UK border measures over the next two weeks, South Africa’s Department of Health said in a statement on Monday. The UK is also looking to extend recognition of vaccine certificates "as rapidly as possible," the state institution said, without citing anyone on either side.

South Africa has reacted in fury about its continued inclusion on the UK’s so-called red list, which bars foreigners outright and forces British citizens to undergo hotel quarantine on arrival at a cost of some £2 285 (just under R47 000). The UK also won’t recognise visitors as vaccinated unless they received doses in a select group of countries, regardless of which shot they were given. 

South Africa has officially exited its third wave of coronavirus infections, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases has said, with daily new infections falling to below 1 000 on Sunday. About 21% of the adult population is fully vaccinated.

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