UK Bans All Travel From South America Over COVID Variant

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.

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