Britain has announced its intentions to ban travels from six southern African countries, after South Africa detected a new Covid-19 variant.
All flights are set to be suspended from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana from 1200 GMT Friday 26 November 2021.
Flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana will from 1200 GMT Friday 26 November be suspended
“Initially it looked like, you know, it was just some cluster outbreaks, maybe gatherings and so on. But from yesterday, indication came from our scientist colleagues from the network for genomic surveillance so that indeed they were observing what looked like a new variant. South African Health Minister, Joseph Phaahla stated.
Scientists say is a concern because of its high number of changes and rapid spread among young people in Gauteng, the country’s most populous province.
The new variant, has also been found in Hong Kong.
The south African health minister added “While the team of scientists will be studying and giving us further information over the weekend we will be more empowered. But of course, we are seeing that from the experience of the last 21 months or so, we almost can predict how this is going to move.”
British Health Secretary Sajid Javid, made the announcement in a tweet.
COVID-19 UPDATE:@UKHSA is investigating a new variant. More data is needed but we're taking precautions now.
From noon tomorrow six African countries will be added to the red list, flights will be temporarily banned, and UK travellers must quarantine.
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) November 25, 2021
Britain remains one of the hardest hit by Covid-19, with some 144,000 deaths since the start of the outbreak early last year.
The new variant which is currently identified as B.1.1.529.
With 59 confirmed cases of the new variant identified in South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana, as of November 26, there were no confirmed cases in Britain.