The UK government has banned travelers from South America and Portugal from arriving in the country from Friday morning to stop a Brazilian variant of COVID-19 from arriving in the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps went on Twitter to announce the change.
He said: “I have taken the urgent decision to BAN ARRIVALS from ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, BOLIVIA, CAPE VERDE, CHILE, COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, FRANC G GUIANA, GUYANA, PANAMA, PARAGUAY, PERU, SURINUA, SURINAME, SURINAME 4 o’clock after the evidence of a new variant in Brazil.
“Travel from PORTUGAL to the UK will also be suspended given its strong travel links with Brazil – acting as another way to reduce the risk of importing infections. However, there is an exception for carriers traveling from Portugal ( only), to allow the transport of essential goods “.
The measures do not apply to British and Irish nationals and third-country nationals with residency rights, however those returning from affected countries have been told to isolate for 10 days.
This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons Liaison Committee that he was “very concerned about the new variant identified in Brazil”. Labor MP (MP) Yvette Cooper asked the Prime Minister why the UK had not imposed travel restrictions on those coming to the country from Brazil.
She said: “You were warned about the Brazil variant three days ago. We do not yet know if that variant could harm the vaccination schedule. So why are you not taking immediate action, on a precautionary basis?”
Without wanting to give a final answer, Johnson was clear that something would change with the trips, but there were still many things they did not know. Johnson said: “We are imposing additional measures to ensure that people coming from Brazil are controlled and actually stop people coming from Brazil.
“There are a lot of questions we still have about that variant, we do not know, for example, more than we do know if the South African variant is vaccine resistant.”
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pre-launch test for people arriving in England will now take place from 04:00 GMT on Monday, despite it being originally scheduled to take effect from Friday.
The government said people needed more time to prepare. Passengers arriving by boat, plane or train, including UK citizens, will have to take a test 72 hours before their departure. Those coming from countries that are not on the UK travel corridor list must be self-isolated for 10 days.
Grant Shapps, secretary of transport, also reminded people through his Twitter account to fill out a passenger localization form before arriving back in England, saying: “Anyone WITHOUT a negative test test faces a fine of £ 500 ($ 680) “.
This comes as the number of deaths in the UK from COVID-19 exceeded 100,000, with 1,564 deaths recorded yesterday, the highest figure reported in a single day since the pandemic began. Dr. Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health in England, said there were now more deaths in the second wave than the first.
High street pharmacies in the UK will also now start vaccinating COVID-19, as the country aims to vaccinate 15 million people, including those over the age of 70, healthcare workers and those required to protect up to mid-year. February. The prime minister has vowed to make vaccines available 24/7, as soon as the government can. More than 2.6 million people in the UK have now received their first dose of a vaccine.
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