BRITAIN has imposed a blanker travel ban on 11 African nations as part of its war against the coronavirus pandemic amid fears that these countries risk importing the dreaded South African strain of the virus.
Under a near-total lockdown until February, the UK is grappling with several mutant strains of the virus and as such as extended its travel bans that is already in place. On December 23, 2020, the UK imposed a travel ban on South Africa and this has now been extended to 10 more African nations under restrictions will take effect on Saturday and remain in place for two weeks.
A UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “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. This does not include British and Irish nationals, longer-term visa holders and permanent residents, who will be able to enter but are required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival along with their household.
“The government has therefore also removed Botswana, Seychelles and Mauritius from the travel corridor list, with the changes coming into place from 4am on Saturday 9 January 2021. Any exemptions usually in place including for those related to employment, will not apply and those British nationals arriving into England from the other southern African countries, Seychelles and Mauritius after 4am on Saturday 9 January cannot be released from self-isolation through Test to Release.
“People sharing a household with anyone self-isolating from these countries will also have to self-isolate for 10 days. Ministers have also removed Israel and Jerusalem from the government’s travel corridor list, as data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England has indicated a significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of coronavirus.
“The decision to remove Israel and Jerusalem has been made following a sustained and accelerating increase in Covid-19 cases per 100,000 of the population, similar in trajectory to the UK.”