As part of preventive measure to curtail the spread of the new strain of Covid-19 variant identified in South Africa, the UK government has extended a travel ban to international passengers from Southern African countries coming into the country.
According to a report from Reuters, the UK government said that the restriction is expected to take effect on Saturday and will be in place for 2 weeks.
This new measure by the UK government follows the new data on the steep rise in incidence of the new variant, that has vastly increased the risk of community transmission between 9 other southern African countries as well as the Seychelles and Mauritius, which both have strong travel links with South Africa.
A statement from the UK Department for Transport reads:
- “Entry into England will be banned to those who have travelled from or through any southern African country in the last 10 days, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique and Angola – as well as Seychelles and Mauritius.
- “Israel (and Jerusalem) would be removed from the list of travel corridors for England and people arriving from January 9 from Botswana, Israel (and Jerusalem), Mauritius or Seychelles would need to self-isolate.”
According to coronavirus statistics from John Hopkins University, shows that the United Kingdom ranks among the 10 hardest hit country in the world with over 2.8 million coronavirus confirmed cases and 78,000 deaths.
This development has necessitated the country to go into her third national lockdown which includes a ban on international travel (there are some legally permitted exemptions but a holiday doesn’t fall under this).