- British citizens broke out in pandemonium following the European country's move to impose a temporary travel ban
- Six African countries, including South Africa, have been placed on the UK's red list in the wake of a new Covid-19 variant
- Scientists announced on Thursday that they had discovered the variant identified as B.1.1.529, said to be highly mutated
- Online users questioned the validity of the claims that UK citizens were looking to leave the country in droves
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JOHANNESBURG - The OR Tambo International Airport was a hive of activity as scores of frantic British citizens attempted to depart South Africa amid the UK's temporary ban on flights from the country on Friday.
Six African countries, including South Africa, where a newly discovered Covid-19 variant identified as B.1.1.529 has been detected, sparked Britain's sudden move to impose a temporary travel ban, according to News24.
South Africans are worried another lockdown is looming as President Cyril Ramaphosa meets with the NCCC
Briefly News has since found on good authority that the six countries are currently on Britain’s red list, which means travellers would be required to quarantine once they arrive in the UK from either departure point.
According to Business Insider South Africa, the decision by the UK is a damaging "knee-jerk reaction" per the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA).
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The publication reported that scientists from the Network for Genomic Surveillance, under the auspices of the Department of Health, announced on Thursday that they had discovered the variant, said to be highly mutated.
Cases have also been detected in Botswana and Hong Kong. There was a massive reaction to the reports on social media, with citizens notably questioning the validity of the claims that the airport was teeming with British citizens looking to leave the country.
Covid19: Vaccines are likely to protect against the new variant, NICD says as more cases are reported
Locals express skepticism over reports
Briefly News took to the comments section to bring readers all the reactions to the development.
@Tulzen Tulz wrote:
"SA citizens please google Uk COVID stats they are at 40k a day, this thing is political, the USA is sitting at 100k a day, and we are gonna be on hard lockdown again."
@Rangwane Malome Kgomotso Pitse said:
"You are lying yoh yoh yoh. The airport was crowded because planes couldn't fly due to inclement weather. Tjeses...News24 yerrrr man, bloody capitalists."
@Olebogeng Makoto added:
"Let me get this straight, during the campaigns there was no Covid-19, no social distance now that elections are over they will be announcing of new Delta Variant, some things are questionable."
South Africans perplexed by UK's stance in light of new Covid 19 variant
In related news, Briefly News recently reported that the UK and Israel have taken swift action in response to the new B.1.1.529 coronavirus variant.
Both countries have placed South Africa and five other southern African countries on their travel ban list, which will restrict travellers in these countries from travelling to the UK and Israel.
The UK said the country has not detected any cases related to the new strain and has commended the South African government for quickly identifying the Covid 19 variant, according to Business Insider.
The countries on the UK's red list include Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, eSwatini, and Zimbabwe. Israel has added Mozambique along with the other six southern African countries to its travel ban list, Reuters reported.
Source: Briefly News