By Nwafor Sunday
United Kingdom has placed a travel ban on Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, Seychelles and Mauritius over covid-19 surge.
This according to a statement obtained from gov.uk, was to stem the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
Part of the statement reads: “The government has responded swiftly to new evidence showing an urgent need to halt travel from all southern African countries to help prevent the spread of a new coronavirus (COVID-19) variant identified in South Africa.
“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.
“The move, in addition to the travel ban imposed on South Africa on 23 December 2020, follows new data on the steep rise in incidence of the new variant, that has vastly increased the risk of community transmission between 9 other southern African countries as well as the Seychelles and Mauritius, which both have strong travel links with South Africa. Urgent restrictions are therefore now needed to prevent the spread of this strain in the UK.
“The measures will be in place for an initial period of 2 weeks while the scientific data and alternative ways to protect the UK and our partners in Africa are reviewed.
“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.”