Southern African nations are facing bans on the use of
“The Commission will propose, in close coordination with the Member States, to activate the emergency brake to stop air travel from the southern African region due to the worrying B.1.1.529 variant,” she wrote.
The Italian Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, signed the order banning the entry of citizens who have passed through South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Namibia. Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland.
The British government, meanwhile, has acted “extremely quickly” to introduce a ban from Friday to flights from six African countries with an approach focused on “security” to the new variant of the coronavirus detected in South Africa, explained today the Minister of Transport, Grant Shapps.
The London Executive bans from 12 GMT air services from six African destinations, including South Africa, due to the spread of the B.1.1.529 variant, which could make current vaccines less effective.
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In Malta, travel to and from regions with identified cases of the variant will be temporarily banned from midnight Saturday, Chris Fearne, Malta’s deputy prime minister and health minister, said in a tweet Friday.
Israel recorded its first case of the new B.1,1,529 coronavirus variant and the country has announced that seven countries in southern Africa will be placed on a red list. This means that returnees from those countries must quarantine themselves in a designated hotel.
On Thursday night, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he had accepted the Health Ministry’s recommendations to place South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini on a new red list.
Travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho will have to remain in quarantine in government-provided facilities for 10 days from midnight local time on Saturday, November 27.
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European Union governments agreed Friday to shield themselves against the new nu variant of the coronavirus by implementing a simultaneous ban on all flights from South Africa and 6 other countries in the region, where the highly contagious mutation has been detected and is feared to escape vaccines.
“Participants have agreed to urgently impose temporary restrictions on all travel to the EU from the Southern African region, including the suspension of passenger flights from the affected countries,” diplomatic sources said.
The governments have also agreed that all Europeans returning from these countries will have to undergo a PCR test and also a quarantine to cut off any possibility of contagion.
Brussels has signed a mega-contract for 1.8 billion doses with Pfizer-BioNTech and another with Moderna for 300 million doses. Both contain variant clauses, but so far they have never had to be adapted as the original formulation was effective against all known mutations, including Delta.
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The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has once again expressed his dissatisfaction with the international travel bans imposed on South Africa, which he considers “unscientific and discriminatory”.
Ramaphosa is immersed in a high-level tour of the western region of the African continent and, during his stop in Nigeria, he thanked the President of that nation, Muhammadu Buhari, for the message his government is sending by holding the meeting.
Ramaphosa has detailed that the presidents of Ivory Coast, Ghana or Senegal, nations that he will visit during this tour, also move in the same terms, reports the South African portal News24.
“This is a global pandemic, and overcoming it requires us to collaborate and work together as a collective,” said the South African leader, appealing to the twinning of Africa and the international community.
Ramaphosa’s visit comes at a time when most of the international community has reinforced its measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, especially by banning travel to South Africa and other countries in the southern region of the continent due to the appearance of a new variant of the virus, Omicron.