The UK government announced on Thursday it will extend its travel ban to include southern African countries, in an attempt to protect itself against the spread of a new coronavirus variant.
In a statement, the government said from 4am GMT on Saturday January 9, entry into England will be banned from countries including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Lesotho, Mozambique, the Seychelles and Mauritius.
“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,” the statement said.
The ban does not apply to British and Irish nationals, long term visa holders or permanent residents, who will be able to enter but will have to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival.
The restriction adds to an ongoing travel ban on visitors who have been in or transited through South Africa in the past 10 days.