South Africa to be put on England’s red travel list over new Covid variant fears

The variant, which was identified on Tuesday, initially sparked concern because it carries an “extremely high humber” of mutations. It is feared to be more transmissible, meaning the country will be placed on England’s red travel list.

“Adding South Africa and close neighbours to the red list seems sensible because of UK status as international travel hub, very few restrictions in UK and the worrying signs from South Africa, we must act now or risk it being too late.”

A No 10 spokesperson said: “We have one of the largest genomic sequencing programmes here in the UK that allows us to spot and track variants as they emerge and, as we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to keep an eye and keep this particular variant under investigation.”

When asked about travel restrictions in relation to this variant, the spokesperson said: “We will continue to keep the latest situation, the latest scientific evidence and data, under review, as we have done throughout the pandemic. 

“We have said before if we believe we need to take action we will, but we will continue to monitor this variant and other variants in the same way that we have done throughout the pandemic.”

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