- The newly-detected coronavirus variant has placed a number of Southern African countries on travel ban lists
- The United Kingdom and Israel have barred travellers from seven African countries from crossing their borders
- Citizens from the UK and Israel will have to quarantine at a hotel upon return from the banned countries
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JOHANNESBURG - The United Kingdom and Israel have taken swift action in response to the new coronavirus variant B.1.1.529.
Both countries have placed South Africa and five other Southern countries on their travel ban list which will restrict travellers from these countries from travelling to the UK and Israel.
The countries on the UK's banned list include Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, eSwatini and Zimbabwe. Israel has added Mozambique along with the other six Southern countries to its travel ban list, according to Reuters.
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The UK travel ban restrictions will officially be implemented on Sunday, 29 November, however, flights from these countries have all been cancelled. UK citizens returning to the country will be required to quarantine at a hotel, which costs roughly R49 000 for one adult per stay.
Israeli citizens will also be required to quarantine in a hotel for seven to 10 days upon return from countries from the ban list.
South Africans react to the new travel restrictions
Many social media users find the timing of the travel ban suspicious, while others took the opportunity to address whether or not Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane will still participate in the Miss Universe pageant seeing that Israel has banned South Africans.
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Here are a few comments:
"And it arrives just in time to destroy Christmas season, kill the travel industry/ restaurants/ air travel and block all foreigners from coming to SA - well done SA government."
"SA is a British satellite country, Britain can do whatever they want."
"Why so quick to ban travel... it feels so planned to the core. Haai man."
"Why when you always talk about the increase of Covid cases you tell us about UK suspending our flights, why can't we also suspend theirs? Should we always be taught how to lead our country by foreigners????"
"Our stupid so-called researchers every country has many variants that are mutated they never report them due to consideration of their economy. These ones here at home just report even a flying frog for popularity"
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"That's rich coming from the country recording average of 42,797 cases per day."
"This is what happens when you rely on other countries for survival. We literally have everything we need right here. We just need to get our house in order and get rid of these bullies once and for all."
New Covid19 variant might be resistant to vaccines making them less effective experts warn
Briefly News previously reported that experts have cautioned people that the newly detected variant of Covid 19 might be resistant to vaccines. This could mean that the current Covid 19 vaccines might be less effective against the virus.
The new variant, named B.1.1.529, is still very much an unknown factor and its effect on the fourth wave of Covid 19 is still unclear.
Gauteng has become the epicentre for the pandemic in South Africa with far more cases being reported in the province than anywhere else in the country.