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The Reichstag in Berlin. (Getty)
  • Germany has removed South Africa from its list of high-risk countries.
  • That means only European Union travel restrictions now apply to those who travel from SA to Germany – and those are friendly to those who have been vaccinated.
  • SA's electronic vaccine passports should, in theory, soon smooth things for those vaccinated here.
  • The UK, for reasons still not entirely clear, still thinks travellers from South Africa have to quarantine on arrival there.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Germany no longer considers South Africa to be a coronavirus high-risk area, and has dropped its national travel restrictions for travellers who have been in SA.

That means only the general European Union rules apply to those who travel from SA to Germany. And that means freedom to enter for anyone who has been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days which should – in theory – soon mean a smooth ride for people vaccinated in SA. The South African government is due to make available electronic vaccine passports any day now, with the expectation that those will be accepted at EU borders.

In the meanwhile, Germany has confirmed that South Africa's standard vaccine card is currently acceptable as proof of vaccination.

"The commonly used South African Vaccination Record Card -if properly filled out- does fulfill these formal requirements," says Germany's mission to Southern Africa.

The change in Germany's approach to SA, effective from 19 September, makes for a growing list of European countries that are now accessible to South Africans, including Switzerland, France, Spain, and Finland.

See also | How to spend ten days in Switzerland to skip UK's red list – for less than airport quarantine

Germany's reclassification means South Africans no longer have to register on its einreiseanmeldung.de website, as before, but proof of a recent coronavirus test is still required.  

Germany simultaneously removed Eswatini, Zimbabwe, and Zambia from its list of high-risk countries, alongside Brazil, India, and a handful of others.

The removal became effective shortly after the United Kingdom failed to drop its quarantine requirement for those travelling from South Africa.

South Africa has been on the UK's red list since its inception. Only British or Irish nationals and those with residence rights have been allowed to enter the UK. These exempted travellers have, however, still been forced to spend ten days in quarantine in a state-managed hotel at their own cost of £2,285 (R44,800).

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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