Brits in tears at airport as South Africa slapped on red list due to new Covid variant

The sudden change in rules has left British tourists furious and in tears after one woman was forced to cut short an emotional goodbye to her terminally-ill friend

Anna DeMarigny was one of the British tourists left furious by the sudden rule change
Anna DeMarigny was one of the British tourists left furious by the sudden rule change

British tourists have been left in tears at airports in South Africa as the country is put on the red list.

Shocked Brits trapped in Cape Town burst into tears when they were told South Africa had been “red listed” whilst they were totally unaware of the Covid crisis unfolding around them.

The news broke to them as they touched down at 8.06am on the British Airways flight BA42 from Heathrow.

South Africa was added to the travel red list at 12pm today.

This means flights are being suspended and those who arrive in the UK will be required to isolate for 10 days, and from 4am on Sunday, this quarantine period will need to take place in a hotel.

Digital marketer, Anna DeMarigny, from Ireland, had flown into Cape Town to say goodbye to her terminally ill best friend.

Anna DeMarigny, 64, from Galway, Ireland, faces a nightmare trying to get back before the 4am Sunday deadline after touching down in Cape Town from Heathrow Airport at 8.00am this morning


Jamie Pyatt News Ltd)

She had been due to stay in South Africa for 10 days to say a final goodbye to her friend before the news broke.

Because of the sudden rule change she has been forced to cut her emotional goodbye short.

Anna, who is double-jabbed, faces a second problem as when she returns home will be forced to self-isolate.

She said: “My daughter Sasha is due to fly to visit me in Ireland on December 13 from San Francisco with her baby son Sebastian who is a one-year-old little baby boy of the pandemic.

“I cannot go into quarantine in a hotel for 10 days when I return and not see her or my grandchild.

“I just can’t. I feel sick. I am going to have to cut short my stay with my friend who is dying.

“I’ll have to spend a couple of hours with her only and then tell her I can’t spend more time with her and get back to this airport and try to find a way home before my daughter arrives from the USA.

“My daughter works in San Francisco and is bringing her baby to meet his family for the first time so I cannot be in quarantine so I will have to say my short goodbyes to my lovely friend and get home.

“I am very angry but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.It is not how I would have wanted to say goodbye to my friend.I can’t believe all this happened overnight with us all oblivious.”

This comes as two Welsh rugby teams who were on tour in South Africa face the same race to return to the UK after the rule change.

Cardiff Rugby and Scarlets Rugby had both travelled to the country to play two United Rugby Championship games each but now both face a race against time to get players and staff back.

Father-of-six, Tony Haupt, 77, from Oxford, had just touched down to visit five of his children who live in Cape Town.

Tony Haupt, 77, had travelled to South Africa to visit his children only to learn he would have to cut the trip short


Jamie Pyatt News Ltd)

He was left furious but helpless when he was told about the red listing and the need to quarantine on return.

Tony said: “I was supposed to stay here for a week and then get back to England for my daughter’s university graduation which is exactly 10 days after I get back to the UK and I just cannot miss that.

“I have to be there for Charlie, 23, when she graduates as it didn’t happen last year due to Covid so I will have to make lots of unplanned changes to my travel plans right away and just hope I get back in time.

“You telling me about the red listing and the quarantine and the sheer cost is the first I have heard about it and it sounds to me like a knee jerk reaction and shows once again this Government’s incompetence.

“I am bloody furious and after a long day travelling and overnight spent in the air this is just not the news I want to hear on touch down and I am struggling to control my anger to be really honest.

“I have been double jabbed and had my booster and after going through all that and being told I am triple locked as safe I am now told I am going to have to pay a fortune to go into quarantine,” he fumed.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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