United Kingdom to Ban Travel from Six African Countries Due to New Covid Variant

Britain on Thursday mentioned it might ban journey from six southern African international locations, after South Africa detected a brand new Covid-19 variant with numerous mutations.

“The early indication now we have 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 in opposition to it,” Health Secretary Sajid Javid said.

Javid said the new variant, which South Africa attributed to a surge in cases and had also been detected in travellers from the country in Botswana and Hong Kong, had not been found so far in Britain.

But he said British scientists were “deeply concerned” and as a precaution a call 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 motels,” he added. “If anyone arrives before then they should self-isolate at home and take a PCR test on day two and day eight.

“And if anyone has arrived from any of those countries over the last 10 days, we would ask them to take PCR tests.” Britain has been among the many hardest hit by Covid-19, with some 144,000 deaths because the begin of the outbreak early final 12 months.

Positive 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.

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

Britain’s authorities was broadly criticised for its journey and quarantine coverage earlier within the pandemic, when it stored its borders open to overseas travellers whilst an infection charges spiralled.

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