Image: The Guardian
The United Kingdom has officially announced that 47 countries will be removed from its travel red list, with all African countries included in this group. Starting from 04:00 on Monday October 11, fully vaccinated travelers entering the U.K. will no longer have to quarantine, enabling ease of travel for U.K.-based individuals and organizations interested in attending Africa’s upcoming events.
The red list reassessment comes as Africa’s vaccination drive progresses rapidly and lockdown restrictions begin to ease across the continent. With over 17 African countries listed as ‘red’ destinations since as far back as December 2020, the decision to remove them is significant, as the African economy begins to reopen. The ease of travel will be particularly significant for African countries that rely heavily on tourism. South Africa, for example, is set to experience a significant boost in tourism from the U.K. The country is estimated to have lost approximately R790 million per month while on the red list, however, with the removal announcement, over 300,000 travelers have already indicated interest in coming to the country.
Meanwhile, the decision marks a turning point for African-based energy events, with U.K. travelers offered the opportunity to attend these conferences in-person. With travel restrictions eased, the continent’s upcoming energy events are bound to experience a boost in U.K. interest, with individuals, companies, and government representatives now able to attend. For Africa’s energy sector, this will be critical, particularly as the continent pursues increased partnerships and collaboration with international stakeholders.
Upcoming events including the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power conference taking place in Dakar on the 2-3 December; African Energy Week 2021 taking place in Cape Town on the 9-12 of November; Libya Energy & Economic Summit 2021 taking place in Tripoli on the 22-23 of November; and African Energy & Mining 2022, taking place on the 29-31 of March next year, stand to significantly benefit from this decision. Africa’s energy events are not only critical for the continent’s energy sector, but will accelerate Africa’s economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having reopened travel opportunities, the U.K will be able to enhance new and existing partnerships, investment, and cooperation, with African countries standing to benefit as U.K.-based stakeholders increase their presence in emerging African markets.