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UK and countries across Europe go back into lockdown. What do you need to know?

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Across the UK and Europe, countries are heading back into different forms of lockdown in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus.

United Kingdom (UK)

The UK government has announced the country will be going into a second lockdown from 05 November until 02 December, as a result of rapidly rising COVID-19 numbers.

The UK Government is taking the following action:

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Closing certain businesses and venues.

Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed, except for work purposes. People cannot travel overseas or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons.

Can South Africans travel to the UK?

For those planning to travel into England, it is important to check the current travel corridor list to establish whether travellers need to isolate for 14 days. South Africans are not on the current travel corridor, so will be required to isolate for 14 days.

British nationals currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, they should check with their airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.

For a full explanation of UK lockdown regulations, please visit


From 30 October until 1 December, people in France will only be allowed to leave their homes to buy essential goods, for medical reasons and to exercise for an hour a day. Anyone who wants to go outside will be required to fill out an “attestation” – a form that was also required to leave home during the first lockdown.

All non-essential businesses will be forced to close, including restaurants, bars and many shops.

Can South Africans travel to France?

A travel ban will be in place between regions, while national borders with counties outside the Schengen Area will be closed. This means that South Africans will not be able to travel to France for now.

For more information, visit


Germany will impose a partial lockdown from 2 November, which will last for four weeks.
Under the rules, bars and pubs will close, while restaurants will remain open for takeaways only. Unnecessary travel is strongly discouraged, and overnight stays in hotels for tourist purposes is banned.

For more information, visit

Can South Africans travel to Germany?

South Africa is currently not on the list of ‘allowed’ countries for Germany and travel to Germany for non-essential purposes for South Africans is therefore not allowed. Therefore travel by South Africans to Germany for non-essential purposes, is prohibited. For more information, visit


Belgium has imposed a partial lockdown from 02 November to 13 December after being hit harder by the virus than any other country in the European Union. Non-essential shops have been shut and trades that require close contact, like hairdressers, are closed. Gyms, pools and other cultural and leisure facilities are also closed. All bars and restaurants across the country have been shut, with only takeaways allowed.

Borders are not closed in accordance with European guidelines, but travelling abroad is strongly discouraged.

Can South Africans travel to Belgium?

Non-essential travel from South Africa to Belgium is prohibited at this stage and will be reviewed post 24 November.

For more information, visit


New restrictions were introduced on Monday 26 October and will remain in place until 24 November. All bars and restaurants have to close by 6pm, but can provide takeaways after this time, although schools and work places remain open.

Gyms, swimming pools, theatres and cinemas are closed but museums remain open and people are asked to not leave their immediate areas.

Can South Africans travel to Italy?

Non-essential travel from South Africa to Italy is not allowed, at least until 24 November.

For more information, visit
Travel regulations can be found here (


Greece will shut down restaurants, bars, cafes, cinemas and gyms across a large part of the country, including the capital Athens, after a surge in coronavirus cases.

Outlining the measures in a televised address, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the changes will take effect on 03 November and last for the whole of November.Restaurants in the affected areas will still be able to offer food for takeaway and deliveries.

In contrast to the spring lockdown, travel within the country will not be affected and retail shops will stay open.

Can South Africans travel to Greece?

Tourists are not allowed to travel to Greece for non-essential purposes until 08 November.

For more information, visit


On Sunday, 25 October, Spain began its nationwide curfew, after the government declared a new state of emergency. People in all regions, with the exception of Canary Islands, will have to stay at home between 23:00 and 06:00.

The only permitted journeys are going to work, buying medicine or caring for elderly or young. The measures were initially put in force for 15 days but Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said he would ask parliament to extend them for six months.

Can South Africans travel to Spain?

You can travel to Spain if you are travelling from the European Union, from a country in the Schengen area, or from another country which has a reciprocal agreement with Spain for accepting travellers. Unfortunately, South Africa is currently not on this list of countries.

For more information, visit

Republic of Ireland

Ireland reverted to the highest level of coronavirus restrictions on Thursday, 22 October

Restrictions are expected to last for six weeks but will be reviewed after four.

People are being asked to stay at home. Those who can work from home must do so.

Pubs and restaurants in Ireland will be able to offer only a takeaway service

Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs may remain open, but only to support provision of essential services.

Can South Africans travel to the Republic of Ireland?

According to the latest information published by IATA, South Africans are allowed to travel to Ireland, but they will be subject to self-isolation for 14 days.

For more information, visit

Disclaimer: This information is based on our understanding of the regulations posted by each country. Please note that the nature of this content is constantly changing.  

The impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry is unprecedented and unpredictable. The nature of the content that is being shared on the ASATA coronavirus microsite is therefore constantly changing. Please check the date of the post to ascertain its recency.
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