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Old Oct 1, 20, 6:55 am
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Brighton, UK
Programs: BA Gold, IC Ambassador, HH Gold, SPG Gold, Fairmont Platinum
Posts: 3,164
South Africa - Will this work?

I am posting this in the BA forum as these are BA flights (and most FT knowledge resides here).

I have an F reward LHR-JNB booked for Christmas Day plus two F returns either mid-January or mid-March.

My understanding is the U.K. is on South Africa’s red list, so I cannot fly for leisure. However, I also understand that if I spend 10 days or more prior to departure in a green country, I am treated as departing from that country.

My question is will this work and what are the risks.

Fly to IST mid-December return on 25th. This is doable and costs less than £200 in CE. I would be happy to have a couple of weeks in Turkey and I understand IST will do same day PCR test with printed result for a reasonable price. That seems to deliver one of the SA entry requirements.

Another key requirement is travel insurance that covers COVID quarantine. I have AMEX Platinum charge card cover (plus BA premium). I am not sure whether that is adequate or I need to get a bespoke policy.

If I travel via IST and have to land myself at LHR to collect luggage, will that count as same day transit? Also, will South Africa accept transits to flights from a red country as OK since my journey started in a green country.

Finally, is the visa waiver back in force for the U.K.? I am guessing that it is since starting a journey from a green country in which you are not a citizen otherwise would be impossible for most passengers.

I am not worried about U.K. quarantine requirements on return.

Anyway, there are a lot of variables in here. I think it should work, but it will be an expensive mistake if it doesn’t and I presume BA will not fly me on the off chance that this is OK, even if I want to risk it.

What do you think? Am I mad to even consider this?
FrancisA is offline