South American travellers banned from entering UK due to fears of new coronavirus variant

Amid concerns that a new variant of the coronavirus has been discovered in Brazil travellers from across South America have been banned from entering the UK.

South American travellers banned from entering UK due to fears of new coronavirus variant: The ban came into force this morning (Friday) at 4am and will include the Central American state of Panama and Portugal, along with Cape Verde, due to their strong transport links with Brazil. Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, has said that the ban is a “precautionary” measure so as not to disrupt the rollout of the vaccination program currently in place across the UK.

In an interview with BBC News he said “We don’t want to trip up at this late stage. We don’t have cases at the moment but this is a precautionary approach. We want to make sure that we do everything possible so that vaccine rollout can continue and make sure that it is not disturbed by other variants of this virus.” People with residency rights in the UK will be exempt from the ban although they will have to self-isolate for 10 days on their arrival.

Haulage travelling from Portugal will also be exempt so that essential goods can be transported in to the UK. Current figures show that over 2.9 million people have received their first dose of the vaccine so far with Public Health England (PHE) releasing figures showing infection rates had fallen in most parts of England across all age groups, although over 80’s figures had not moved, but showing that the lockdown may be taking effect.

At the same time, however, the PHE surveillance report noted that there were more people being admitted to hospitals and intensive care units. The latest official figures showed a further 1,248 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 in the UK as of Thursday


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