France has removed South Africa from its scarlet red list as ongoing concerns around the Omicron Covid-19 variant subside.
In a statement published on social media, the French embassy in South Africa said that the change has already taken effect and that travel restrictions have been eased.
Under the updated regulations, vaccinated travellers can fly from South Africa to France if they show their vaccination certificate and a negative PCR or antigen test, taken within 48 hours. The embassy said that no quarantine is required for vaccinated travellers, and travel will be permitted in both directions.
France placed South Africa on its scarlet red list following the discovery of the Omicron variant at the end of November 2021. South Africans were blocked from travelling to France unless they could show that they had pressing grounds to do so. They were also subject to strict vaccination and quarantine requirements.
UPDATE: South Africa has been removed from the scarlet red list. Vaccinated travellers can come to France provided they show their vaccination certificate and a negative PCR or antigen test (-48h). No quarantine required for vaccinated travellers. https://t.co/W7h0TK9zlj
— France in S. Africa (@FrenchEmbassyZA) January 6, 2022
France follows neighbouring Germany and the US in easing travel restrictions on South Africa. Middle-eastern airline Qatar Airways has also announced that it will resume flights from South Africa from 13 January 2022.
Despite these eased restrictions and a decline in local Omicron cases, South Africa still faces various travel bans at the start of 2022.
A mapping tool developed by travel website Skyscanner shows that as of 6 January, South Africa has 94 ‘major restrictions’ in place from other countries. This is up from around 60 significant restrictions in mid-2021. These countries have suspended travel, may be closed to entry, or entry may only be possible if you are a citizen/meet strict entrance requirements.
Skyscanner data shows there are currently 23 moderate restrictions for South Africa, where travel is possible, but only if travellers meet specific entry requirements, including taking Covid-19 tests and quarantining.