The UK announced Thursday that it is banning travel from all countries in South America as well as Portugal over fears of the new COVID-19 variant from Brazil.
“I’ve taken the urgent decision to BAN ARRIVALS from ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, BOLIVIA, CAPE VERDE, CHILE, COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, FRENCH GUIANA, GUYANA, PANAMA, PARAGUAY, PERU, SURINAME, URUGUAY AND VENEZUELA – from TOMORROW, 15 JAN at 4AM following evidence of a new variant in Brazil,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted.
“Travel from PORTUGAL to the UK will also be suspended, given its strong travel links with Brazil – acting as another way to reduce the risk of importing infections. However, there is an exemption for hauliers travelling from Portugal [only], to allow transport of essential goods.
“This measure does not apply to British and Irish Nationals and third country nationals with residence rights – but passengers returning from these destinations must self-isolate for TEN DAYS along with their households,” he added.
Official figures show the UK has recorded 48,682 new COVID-19 cases and 1,248 further deaths in the latest 24-hour period, while more than 2.9 million first doses of vaccine have now been administered.