The United Kingdom has banned flights from two African countries; Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo in a bid to stem the spread of the South African COVID-19 variant.
This was contained in a statement issued on Thursday by the UK Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps who said that all passengers from the mentioned countries except British and Irish nationals and third country nationals with resident’s rights will be denied entry.
The statement by Shaaps on Twitter reads thus; “To help to stop the spread of the covid 19 variant identified in South Africa, we are banning all arrivals from Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo from 4am tomorrow.
“All passengers from these countries except British & Irish Nationals and third country nationals with resident’s rights will be denied entry.
“We are continuing to monitor Covid-19 rates and new strains of the virus across the globe, this alongside the suspension of travel corridors and pre-departure testing will help protect our borders,” he added.
This came days after the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that the mutant UK COVID-19 strain has been discovered in 60 countries across the world.
In a statement issued in Geneva, Switzerland, WHO added that the South African COVID-19 variant, which like the UK strain is believed to be more infectious and has been reported in 23 countries and territories.
The body added that the number of new COVID-19 deaths climbed to a record high 93,000 over the previous seven days, with 4.7 million new cases reported over the same period.