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UK Takes ‘Safety First Approach’ With Travel Ban On New COVID Variant Shapps | UK News




Grant Shapps told Sky News that the UK is taking a “safety-first” approach, banning entry from six African countries in the face of a new strain of coronavirus.

Flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe are suspended from 12pm Friday to 4am Sunday.

From Sunday, new arrivals to the UK must be quarantined in hotels.

Latest COVID-19 updates in the UK and around the world

The European Union (EU) is also planning an “emergency break” on air travel from South Africa in response to a novel coronavirus strain.

Shapps said: “It is important to act immediately and slow the situation in terms of potential entry.

“This allows scientists to spend some time sequencing the genome, which includes culturing, so you can see how important this particular variant is.

“This is an approach that puts safety first.

“We were able to relax reasonably quickly after doing something like the Danish mink strain before.”

He later told the BBC: “I hope this is what this is. It’s a pause rather than a backtrack. But if we see a variant that can defeat a vaccine well, we can’t risk it. It’ll take a little time to check. It takes.

“The concern with this particular strain is that it is spreading very quickly and is growing very fast. We think this problem will probably start right now. So we are asking people to quarantine, self-quarantine when they are at home. when arriving at.”

The UK Health Security Agency says the new B.1.1.529 strain identified in South Africa is “the worst it has ever seen”.

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The COVID-19 strain has 30 mutations, twice as many as the delta mutation, making it more contagious and avoiding protection from previous infections or vaccinations.

No cases of this variant have been reported in the UK so far, and anyone who has traveled to one of these countries in the past 10 days is being contacted for testing.

But concerns over possible further damage to international business and travel caused a loss of more than £65bn in UK stock markets in early trading on Friday.

Meanwhile, South Africa said the UK travel ban “appears to be rushed”.

Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said: “Our immediate concern is the damage this decision will have on tourism and businesses in both countries.”

@EU_Commission will work closely with member states to propose activating the emergency brake to suspend air travel from the South African region due to a variant of B.1.1.529.

— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) November 26, 2021

Both Welsh rugby teams are looking to repatriate their staff and players as soon as possible after South Africa has been added to their travel redlist.

Other countries are now moving to impose restrictions.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted: “The Commission will work closely with Member States to propose to activate emergency brakes to suspend air travel from South Africa due to issue B.1.1.529. is. .”

Israel confirmed that it had found the first cases of this strain in a traveler returning from Malawi.

Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) are meeting with South African officials to assess the changing situation in South Africa.




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