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UK bans journey to South Africa over new Covid variant

The UK authorities has positioned South Africa and 5 different nations onto its much-maligned journey ‘crimson listing’ following the emergence of a brand new Covid-19 variant in Southern Africa.

UK well being Secretary Sajid Javid stated that from midday on Friday (12h00, 26 November), flights to and from the nations will likely be briefly banned. Any UK nationals arriving from the required nations must quarantine.

The choice comes off the again of a brand new Covid variant rising in nations resembling Botswana and South Africa, which displays an ‘alarming’ variety of mutations.

The variant, designated as B.1.1.529 by the WHO, has sparked considerations about its transmissibility, severity and potential vaccine resistance.

The Nationwide Institute for Communicable Illnesses (NICD) issued an alert on Thursday (25 November), confirming that the variant has been detected in lots of instances within the nation, with extra to be confirmed as sequencing outcomes come out.

It seems to be the principle driver of a spike of infections in and round Gauteng, with native well being officers speculating that it could already be broadly distributed throughout all provinces. The NICD warned that detected instances of the brand new variant and the variety of individuals testing optimistic are rising rapidly.

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Whereas the affect and significance of the mutations are nonetheless unsure, scientists have predicted that the variant will likely be extremely transmissible and prone to be proof against immunisation.

Javid stated including the six nations to the UK’s crimson listing was thus about “being cautious and taking motion and making an attempt to guard. as greatest we are able to, our borders”, the BBC reported.

COVID-19 UPDATE:@UKHSA is investigating a brand new variant. Extra knowledge is required however we’re taking precautions now.

From midday tomorrow six African nations will likely be added to the crimson listing, flights will likely be briefly banned, and UK travellers should quarantine.

— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) November 25, 2021

The nations added to the UK’s crimson listing are:

  • South Africa;
  • Namibia;
  • Zimbabwe;
  • Botswana;
  • Lesotho; and
  • Eswatini.

The UK modified its journey restrictions and necessities in October, shifting to a system that offers with vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers, with a shorter listing of nations which might be outright banned.

The South African authorities and native branches of multinational companies labored laborious to persuade the UK to take away South Africa from the listing of banned nations. This has now been undone.

Non-UK residents travelling from crimson listing nations aren’t permitted, no matter vaccination standing. The principles for crimson listing nations are as follows:

You probably have been in or travelled by means of a rustic or territory on the crimson listing within the 10 days earlier than you arrive in England, you’ll solely be allowed to enter the UK should you both:

  • Are a British or Irish Nationwide;
  • Have residence rights within the UK.

Earlier than you journey to England you have to:

  • Take a Covid-19 check – you have to take the check within the 3 days earlier than you journey to England;
  • Guide a quarantine lodge bundle, together with two COVID-19 assessments;
  • Full a passenger locator type.

This should be carried out even when you’ve got been vaccinated, the UK well being division stated.

Learn: Well being authorities on ‘excessive alert’ as new Covid variant emerges in South Africa

Artmotion S.Africa

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