Author: Hi5Digital

Covid-19 travel alert: UK excludes South Africa from quarantine-free list

Covid-19 travel alert: UK excludes South Africa from quarantine-free list

The UK government has excluded South Africa from a list of countries that pose a low enough risk of coronavirus infections that visitors don’t have to go into quarantine when they enter that country.

This means people arriving in England from South Africa will still have to quarantine for 14 days after landing.

South Africa and the UK have similar-sized populations. The UK has recorded almost 284,000 coronavirus infections, while South Africa has 168,000. But the UK has suffered almost 44,000 deaths from Covid-19, compared to 2,800 in South Africa.

The UK is starting to ease its lockdown, and has announced that as of Friday, 10 July, people arriving from a long list of countries will no longer have to go into quarantine. This also means the English visitors to these countries don’t have to go into quarantine when they arrive back. (Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have their own rules.)

A much more stringent lockdown is in place in South Africa: borders are closed and South Africans are still not allowed to travel overseas for leisure. International travel is only allowed if the resident is returning to work, to study, or to go to their residence overseas.

While South Africa closed its borders at the end of March, the UK allowed international travel throughout – and only instituted a quarantine on arrivals in June.

The US – with 130,000 deaths and 2.7 million confirmed cases – has also not been included in the new list.

This is the UK’s full list of “quarantine-free” countries:


Austria, Andorra, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Channel Islands, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey


Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Martinique, South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia,St Pierre and Miquelon, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands


Australia, Brunei, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna




British Antarctic Territory

Trump bans all travel from EUROPE

Trump bans all travel from EUROPE

Exactly how the US travel ban on travellers from some European countries will affect South Africans travelling to the US via Europe is unclear, with agents left in the dark.
US President Donald Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation on March 11 suspending the entry of foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point in the 14 days prior to arrival in the US, with immediate effect.

The ban does not apply to legal permanent residents of the US and immediate family members of US citizens.

Agents took to social media asking for advice, and received varying responses.

Tracy Armitage from KLM’s marketing team told eTNW that they were not able to comment on whether South Africans flying to the US via Europe were affected, as they had not received information from head office.

The European countries are from the Schengen Area, which includes: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.” eTNW quote

India Suspends Visas

India Suspends Visas

India suspends visas

India has suspended all visas, with a few exceptions, issued to nationals of any country until April 15, to minimise foreign travel into the country & halt the spread of COVID-19.

The exceptions are diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment and project visas.

No more visas will be issued until this date and OCI (dual citizenship status) cards will also be subject to suspension.

This comes into effect today (March 13) at the port of departure of any foreigner for onward journey to India.

Foreign travellers in India are permitted to leave and those still intending to travel to India for compelling reason, may contact the nearest Indian Mission”, a statement issued by Bureau of Immigration said.

Schengen visa forms have changed

Schengen visa forms have changed.

Please take note that the Schengen visa forms have changed recently. As most are applied for online, we, then refer to the paper applications, please check that they are updated when you lodge.
If you need help here, please make contact with VISALOGIX.

Spain bans direct flights from Italy

Spain bans direct flights from Italy

The government of Spain has issued a temporary travel ban for all direct flights from Italy from March 11-25 to manage and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Spain’s Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, reports that, as of March 10, there are 1 622 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The highest number of cases have been detected in Madrid, the Basque Country and La Rioja.
Exceptions to the travel ban include non-commercial government-owned and operated aircraft and cargo flights as well as all humanitarian, medical or emergency flights.
Additional COVID-19 measures include the suspension of all major national and international social and cultural events as well as the suspension of activities with more than 1 000 people in Madrid, La Rioja, Vitoria and Labastida.” e-TNW

COVID-19: UAE, India and Seychelles close ports to cruise ship

COVID-19: UAE, India and Seychelles close ports to cruise ship

UAE, India and the Seychelles have closed their ports to cruise ships due to the COVID-19 outbreak.Marco Cristofoli, ceo of Cruises International, told eTNW that due to these closures and the temporary closing of all Italian ports, Crystal Serenity’s Mumbai to Rome sailing and its corresponding Getaway voyages have been cancelled.
“Fully paid guests will receive a 100% refund of the cruise fare paid, port charges, taxes, and fees and as a gesture of goodwill, guests will also receive a Future Cruise Credit of 25% of the cruise fare paid,” he said.
Celebrity Constellation’s sailing has ended early. Marco said guests would receive a 100% cruise refund as compensation for disruption to their travel plans, and guests with shore excursions in Goa, Cochin, Abu Dhabi, or Dubai booked through Celebrity Cruises, would automatically receive a refund to their onboard account.
“Celebrity Cruises will also assist all guests with air travel arrangements for their return home.”
Celebrity Constellation’s March 17 and April 2 sailings have also been cancelled. All guests will receive a full refund to their original method of payment and a 25%  Future Cruise Credit.
Marco appealed to travel agents to avoid panic. “Cruises International together with the brands we represent are here to ensure that you have our full support during this challenging time. If you want to know more about the flexible cancellation clauses that our brands have in place, give the team a call.”
Roland Muller, marketing manager of Development Promotions, told eTNW the changes happened at the last minute, so normal procedures would apply where itineraries were updated. He said most cruise lines had put updated cancellation policies in place, which allowed passengers to cancel their cruise for whatever reason within a short lead time, and then receive a credit for a future cruise.
Ross Volk, md of MSC Cruises, told eTNW the closures had affected MSC’s Bellissima and Lirica cruises. He added that MSC would be contacting guests tomorrow (March 12) to inform them of rebooking or cancellation options.

Israel announces 14-day quarantine for all arrivals

Israel announces 14-day quarantine for all arrivals

The Israeli government has announced that all international arrivals into the country will be placed on a 14-day quarantine.

According to global media reports, non-Israeli citizens will be allowed to enter the country until Thursday, March 12. To enter after this date, non-citizens will need to prove that they have a place in the country to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that the decision would be in effect for at least two weeks. During that time, the government plans to make decisions to “safeguard the Israeli economy”.

El Al has announced that passengers holding tickets for departures on or before April 30 – regardless of the date the tickets have been purchased – can change or freeze their tickets for departures until or including February 28, 2021 without being charged ‘Change of Reservation’ and ‘reissue handling’ fees.
All Turkish Airlines passengers holding bookings to/from Israel between March 10 and 31, which were ticketed before March 10 can be:
re-booked/re-routed in a different booking class, with no charge, provided that the new destination is in the same IATA region and same cabin, re-issue takes place before/on April 11, 2020 and re-booking/re-issuing is made for flights until/on May 31.
re-booked/re-routed for flights after May 31, with no charge, provided that new flights are within one year from original ticketing date, re-issue takes place before/on April 11, and the same booking class is available. If the same booking class is not available, the difference in fare must collected from the passenger.
Turkish Airlines full refunds will be issued on unused tickets until April 11, and on used tickets for unused coupons until April 11.”
quoted eTNW

Qatar bans arrivals from 15 countries

Qatar bans arrivals from 15 countries

The Qatar government has suspended entry into the country for people travelling from 15 countries, to stop the spread of COVID-19.

All passengers in transit are accepted for travel. However, travellers wishing to enter Qatar from Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Italy, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand will not be allowed to do so.
Qatar Airways is also placing a temporary hold on stopover services in Doha for connecting passengers. Those with onward connections will not be permitted to leave Hamad International Airport.

Airlines cancel flights to Italy

Airlines cancel flights to Italy

Turkish Airlines, Air Mauritius and Delta have announced new flight restrictions caused by the spread of the coronavirus.

Delta announced a suspension of its daily flight from New York (JFK) to Milan from March 2, and the flight from Milan to New York from March 3. Flights to and from Milan will resume from May 1 and May 2, respectively. This is in addition to the suspension of all flights between the US and China.

Travel restrictions in force in Mauritius prohibit any foreign national who has resided in, or who has travelled to and from China, the Republic of Korea, Italy, or Iran within the last 14 days boarding any Air Mauritius flight and entry or transit in the Republic of Mauritius.

Turkish Airlines has suspended all flights to Iran, Iraq, Italy, South Korea and Saudi Arabia until March 10.” eTNW quoted.

Israel issues travel warning over Coronavirus

Israel issues travel warning over Coronavirus

The Israeli government has advised its citizens to refrain from unnecessary travel, in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Health Ministry has also said any Israeli returning from Italy, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Thailand must be placed under a 14-day home quarantine. With the country on high alert, any non-Israeli resident or citizen who stayed in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Macao, Singapore, South Korea and Japan in the 14 days before arrival in Israel will be denied entry.”, quoted from eTNW