Britain introduced Thursday it was briefly banning flights from South Africa and 5 different international locations from 1200 GMT on Friday over newly found variant of COVID-19.
”These international locations are South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana”, mentioned well being secretary, Sajid Javid.
“We will probably be requiring anybody that arrives from these international locations from 4am on Sunday to quarantine in resorts.
‘The early indication now we have of this variant is it could be extra transmissible than the Delta variant and the vaccines that we at present have could also be much less efficient in opposition to it.
‘Now, to be clear, we have not detected any of this new variant in the UK at this point in time. But we’ve all the time been clear that we are going to take motion to guard the progress that now we have made.
‘So, what we will probably be doing is from noon tomorrow we will probably be suspending all flights from six southern African international locations and we’ll add in these international locations to the journey Purple Checklist.
Underneath new guidelines, returning British travellers from these locations would additionally should quarantine.
The UK Well being Safety Company mentioned that the variant – known as B.1.1.529 – has a spike protein that was dramatically completely different to the one within the unique coronavirus that COVID-19 vaccines are based mostly on.
It has mutations which might be prone to evade the immune response generated each by prior an infection and vaccination, and in addition mutations related to elevated infectivity.
Lab research are wanted to evaluate the chance of the mutations leading to tremendously diminished vaccine efficacy, scientists mentioned.
Officers have suggested the federal government on the necessity to act swiftly and pre-emptively in case the issues over the affect of variant are borne out, regardless that it may take weeks to generate all the data wanted about its traits.
Earlier on Thursday, South African scientists mentioned that they had detected the brand new COVID-19 variant in small numbers and have been working to grasp its potential implications. learn extra
The variant has a “very unusual constellation” of mutations, that are regarding as a result of they may assist it evade the physique’s immune response and make it extra transmissible, the scientists instructed reporters at a information convention.
The variant has additionally been present in Botswana and Hong Kong.
The UK Well being Safety Company mentioned that no instances of the variant had been detected in Britain they usually have been involved with South African colleagues over their information.