Britain is set to ban travel from the whole of South America and Portugal amid concerns over a new variant of the coronavirus in Brazil.
British transport secretary Grant Shapps Friday said arrivals from more than a dozen countries, including Argentina, Chile and Peru, will be halted “following evidence of a new variant in Brazil.”
The Cape Verde islands off the west coast of Africa and Panama in Central America have also been slapped with travel bans.
The restrictions also apply to the Portuguese archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores.
The ban does not apply to British and Irish nationals and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK. However, anyone returning from the banned destinations must quarantine themselves for 10 days with their households.
The announcement comes just a few weeks after many countries banned travel from the UK following the discovery of another variant of the virus around London and southeastern England, which has been blamed for a sharp rise in new coronavirus infections and deaths related to COVID-19.
Brazil has also temporarily suspended flights from or via the UK as of December 25 over concerns over that variant, which is believed to be around 50 per cent more contagious.