Britain imposes entry bans from six African countries

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London. The discovery of a new corona variant in South Africa on Thursday prompted the UK to impose an entry ban from the country and five neighboring countries.

The entry ban applies from Friday at noon and includes, in addition to air passengers from South Africa, those flying from neighboring Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini.

No cases of the new variant have yet been found in the UK.

Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson from the British University Imperial College London says the new variant has an unprecedented number of mutations.

That is why he also supports the government’s entry ban.

– The government’s initiative to restrict travel from South Africa is wise, he says.

The British Minister of Health, Sajid Javid, tells the press that the mutations could mean lower protection from the covid-19 vaccines.

– It points in the direction that it (the variant, ed.) May be more contagious and that our current vaccines may be less effective, he says.

He stresses that more research is still needed on the variant before it can be definitively determined whether the effectiveness of the vaccines may be at stake.

The entry ban does not apply to British nationals.

They can continue to return to the UK, but must be quarantined when they travel into the country, Sajid Javid informs according to the French news agency AFP.

He also urges people who have traveled to the UK from one of the six countries within the last ten days to get tested with a PCR test.

On Thursday, South African researchers stated that they had found a low number of cases of infection with the new variant and that they were currently investigating the possible consequences.

The variant has also been found in Botswana, which is located north of South Africa and Hong Kong.

/ ritzau / Reuters

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