Britain announced, on Thursday, that it will stop flights to and from 6 African countries, due to a new mutated version of the Corona virus that South Africa has detected and is likely to be more contagious and immune to vaccines than its predecessors.
British Health Minister Sajid Javid said that the decision will include all flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana, as of Friday noon.
He added, "The initial indications that we have on this mutant indicate that it may be more contagious than the delta mutant, and that the vaccines that we currently have may be less effective" in preventing infection. The minister pointed out that British scientists are "extremely concerned" about this new mutated version, which South Africa blames for the recent increase in the number of HIV infections in the country. This mutation was also spotted in travelers from Botswana and Hong Kong.
And he said, "We will ask everyone who arrives from one of these countries, starting at four o'clock in the morning, to self-quarantine in a hotel," adding that "those who arrive from these countries before this date will have to quarantine themselves in their homes, and take a test ( BCR) on the second day of their arrival and a second, similar test 6 days after the first.
And the Minister of Health explained that the decision to subject those coming from these countries to Britain will be retroactive, as "we will ask everyone who arrived from one of these countries during the past ten days to take tests."
The United Kingdom is one of the European countries that recorded the highest number of deaths due to Covid, with about 144,000 deaths since the pandemic began.