He british government banned arrivals this Thursday from all the countries of South America plus Panama, and also Portugal “given its close travel ties with Brazil”, due to the new strain of coronavirus found in the Brazilian Amazon.
Arrivals from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela will be prohibited from Friday “at 04:00 (local and GMT) as a result of the evidence of a new variant in Brazil, “announced Transport Minister Grant Shapps on Twitter.
“Travel from Portugal to the United Kingdom will also be suspended given its close travel ties with Brazil,” he said, although “truckers traveling from Portugal (only) will be exempt, to allow the transport of essential goods.”
“This measure does not apply to British and Irish citizens or nationals of third countries with the right of residence “in the UKexplained the minister.
The conservative government of Boris Johnson was under pressure to restrict travel from the south of the American continent following the discovery of a new strain of the virus in Brazil.
– Concern about immune response –
The country hardest hit by the pandemic in Europe, with almost 85,000 confirmed deaths from covid-19, the United Kingdom faces an unstoppable wave of infections since the discovery in December of a new strain in southern England, apparently much more contagious.
For its part, this other mutation originated in the Brazilian Amazon, and which was detected in Japan on Sunday, worries the international community about the possibility that it modifies the immune response in the middle of the vaccination campaign.
The UK had suspended direct travel from South Africa following the discovery of another variant of the virus in that country.
For the rest of the countries, the obligation to present a negative coronavirus test to enter England – a requirement that the country imposed after many of its neighbors -, initially scheduled to take effect this weekend, was postponed until next Monday. Scotland will start applying it on Friday.
Travelers who do not have such a certificate will be charged a fine of £ 500 ($ 685) upon arrival.
“We have implemented a grace period this weekend … so that travelers have a little more time to make sure they have access to the tests they need,” Johnson’s spokesman told reporters. AFP
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