UK to ban journey from six African international locations because of new Covid variant

Britain on Thursday mentioned it will ban travel from six southern African international locations, after South Africa detected a brand new Covid-19 variant with a lot of mutations.

“The early indication we’ve of this variant is it could be extra transmissible than the Delta variant and the vaccines that we presently have could also be much less efficient towards it,” Well being Secretary Sajid Javid mentioned.

Javid mentioned the brand new variant, which South Africa attributed to a surge in circumstances and had additionally been detected in travellers from the nation in Botswana and Hong Kong, had not been discovered up to now in Britain.

However he mentioned British scientists have been “deeply involved” and as a precaution a choice had been to droop all flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana from 1200 GMT on Friday.

“We will probably be requiring anybody that arrives from these international locations from 4:00 am on Sunday to quarantine in resorts,” he added.

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“If anybody arrives earlier than then they need to self-isolate at dwelling and take a PCR check on day two and day eight.

“And if anybody has arrived from any of these international locations during the last 10 days, we might ask them to take PCR assessments.”

Britain has been among the many hardest hit by Covid-19, with some 144,000 deaths for the reason that begin of the outbreak early final yr.

Constructive circumstances stay stubbornly excessive — greater than 47,000 have been recorded in a 24-hour interval to Thursday — however greater than 80 % of individuals aged 12 and over have been double-jabbed with a vaccine.

Almost 29 % have acquired a 3rd booster dose, as a part of a authorities drive to ease stress on hard-pressed well being providers in the course of the winter months, when different seasonal respiratory infections are excessive.

Britain’s authorities was extensively criticised for its journey and quarantine coverage earlier within the pandemic, when it stored its borders open to international travellers at the same time as an infection charges spiralled.

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This story has been printed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content.

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