United Kingdom bans arrivals from South American countries, Portugal over new coronavirus variant

Modesto Morganelli
Gennaio 14, 2021

The UK government is expected to institute a travel ban on direct flights from most of South America due to a concerning new coronavirus variant from Brazil, The Times of London reported Thursday.

From 4am Friday 15 January 2021, passengers who have been in or transited through Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Panama, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela in the last 10 days will no longer be granted access to the UK. It may also be the case a number of other South American countries will be banned for flying to the UK. However, there is an exemption for hauliers travelling from Portugal (only), to allow transport of essential goods.

"I think it's fair to say that there are lots of questions we still have about that variant".

"We are taking steps to do that in respect of the Brazilian variant".

He said there was no evidence any of the new variants made the disease more severe.

Prime minister Boris Johnson expressed "concern" about the new strain when speaking at the liaison committee on Tuesday.

United Kingdom hospitals, particularly in southern England and London, are now struggling with the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Brazilian government instituted its own travel ban on the United Kingdom over Christmas, citing a different coronavirus variant from the United Kingdom that has proven to be more infectious.

A study conducted by a local Brazilian health department revealed that the presence of IgG antibodies, specific for SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes Covid-19, was detected in serum samples back in December 2019. Some NHS with bed shortages are starting to discharge existing patients early to make room for new admissions.

As of Thursday, Brazil has recorded 8.2 million COVID-19 cases and more than 205,000 deaths, making it the third-worst hit country in terms of infections, with the second-highest death toll.

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