THE UK bans all arrivals from South America and Portugal over fears of the new Covid strain from Brazil – the ban will come into effect from 4 am on Friday – according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted: “I’ve taken the urgent decision to BAN ARRIVALS from ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, BOLIVIA, CAPE VERDE, CHILE, COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, FRENCH GUIANA, GUYANA, PANAMA, PARAGUAY, PERU, SURINAME, URUGUAY AND VENEZUELA – from TOMORROW, 15 JAN at 4AM following evidence of a new variant in Brazil.
“Travel from PORTUGAL to the UK will also be suspended given its strong travel links with Brazil – acting as another way to reduce the risk of importing infections. However, there is an exemption for hauliers travelling from Portugal (only), to allow transport of essential goods.
“This measure does not apply to British and Irish Nationals and third country nationals with residence rights – but passengers returning from these destinations must self-isolate for TEN DAYS along with their households.”
I’ve taken the urgent decision to BAN ARRIVALS from ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, BOLIVIA, CAPE VERDE, CHILE, COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, FRENCH GUIANA, GUYANA, PANAMA, PARAGUAY, PERU, SURINAME, URUGUAY AND VENEZUELA – from TOMORROW, 15 JAN at 4AM following evidence of a new variant in Brazil. 1/3
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) January 14, 2021
Yvette Cooper, the Labour chair of the Commons home affairs committee, on Wednesday demanded to know why the prime minister had not taken “immediate action”.
“You were warned about the Brazil variant three days ago. We don’t know, yet, whether that variant could undermine the vaccination programme,” she said.
Sarah Olney, the Lib Dem transport spokesperson, said the government had again “missed the opportunity to help stem the spread of Covid-19”.
“They’ve delayed action on cutting travel between the UK and South America, risking the arrival of the new variant. Brazil has already stopped flights from the UK arriving there,” she said.
The government has also announced the new rules requiring travellers arriving in England to have a negative coronavirus test have been delayed from Friday until Monday “to give international arrivals time to prepare”.
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