- The UK government is expected to impose a travel ban on all direct flights from Brazil and neighboring countries for a new variant of the coronavirus, Times of London reported.
- The new variant, which appeared in Brazil, is causing concern if it may be resistant to vaccines.
- The Brazilian government had already imposed its travel ban on flights from the UK over Christmas, to prevent the spread of another variant of the virus circulating in England.
- Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
The UK government is expected to impose a direct travel ban on most South American flights due to a new variant of the coronavirus from Brazil, Reported by Times of London Thursday
The variant is raising concerns about whether it may be resistant to vaccines. It is typical that viruses are transformed and the variants are not necessarily more harmful.
The issue of the Brazilian variant will be discussed at the British government’s COVID-19 operations committee meeting on Thursday, according to The Times and Sky News.
The Times said the ban on all flights from Brazil and neighboring Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Colombia could be announced as soon as Friday.
According to Sky News and Telegraph, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told lawmakers Wednesday that the government was “concerned” about the new option, adding: “We are taking steps to ensure we do not see imports of this new option from Brazil.”
The Brazilian government decided to ban its travel to the UK over Christmas, citing another variant of the coronavirus from the UK that has proven to be more contagious. Experts have said that COVID-19 vaccines should work against the UK variant.
Read more: What’s next for COVID-19 vaccines? Here you have the latest in 11 major programs.
According to The Times, travelers from Brazil and neighboring countries may be barred from flying to the UK through third-party countries such as Spain or Portugal if they have been to South America in the previous 10 days.
But, the paper noted, the rule would be difficult to enforce as there are no routine checks on the “passenger location form” that travelers must complete when entering the UK, pronouncing their movements before arrival.
Hospitals in the UK, particularly in southern England and London, are currently battling the COVID-19 outbreak. Some bedside NHSs have begun dismissing existing patients early to make room for new admissions.
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