Sumary of Red list: What the ban on six Southern African countries means for travellers:
- In a repeat of the events of last winter, the UK government has responded to an alert about a new variant of concern by putting a flights ban on South Africa – and adding the country, and five neighbours, to the “red list”.
- British and Irish citizens or residents arriving from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe after 4am on Sunday 29 November will be required to book and pay for a UK government-approved hotel quarantine facility for 10 days.
- It will be followed by British Airways flights BA56 from Johannesburg (due in at 7.34am) and BA44 from Cape Town (due 10 minutes later, at 7.44am).
- As South Africa will not be on the red list by then, the passengers face no restrictions.
- Flights due to arrive on Saturday morning have been cancelled.
- Anyone desperate to return from South Africa and avoid hotel quarantine could try to find space on Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa or Kenya Airways via Nairobi on Friday.