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Brazil COVID-19 variant: UK bans arrivals from South America, others

Brazil COVID-19 variant: UK bans arrivals from South America, others

A ban on travellers to the United Kingdom from South America and Portugal will come into force on Friday due to a new Covid variant identified in Brazil.

The ban applies to people who have travelled from, or through, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela in the last 10 days.

He added that the travel restrictions already in place - which requires arrivals flying via the United Kingdom to isolate for a minimum period of ten days - will "protect Jersey significantly" from the Brazil variant and he added that government will consider "extending the red arrival status appropriately".

He added, however, that there would be an exemption for vehicles from Portugal to allow essential goods to enter the UK.

The island country of Cape Verde is also on the list.

The measures come into effect at 4 a.m. GMT on January 15.

The restrictions are being brought in from tomorrow as fears grow over a coronavirus variant first discovered in Brazil.

The ban does not apply to British and Irish nationals and third country nationals with residence rights in the U.K. However, anyone returning from the banned destinations must quarantine themselves for 10 days with their households.

Felipe Naveca, deputy director of research at the Brazilian state-run Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, said the new variant was "of concern" and its origin was "undoubtedly" from the Amazon region. It is typical for viruses to mutate, and variants are not necessarily more harmful.

The government's Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance told ITV on Wednesday that the Brazilian strain has "some of the features" of the United Kingdom and South African variants, which spread more easily, but there is no evidence so far to suggest it provokes a more severe disease.

He said there was no evidence vaccines would be ineffective against the strain which has fuelled a surge in infections in Britain, but they did not know for sure if that would be the case with the South African or Brazilian strain. It is fair to say we still have lots of questions about this variant. 'As always, work is ongoing to ensure testing and vaccines remain efficient in relation to new variants. Some NHS with bed shortages are starting to discharge existing patients early to make room for new admissions.