Israel, Britain restrict travel from southern Africa over new Coronavirus variant

Israel and Britain have announced new travel restrictions on several African countries over concerns about a new Coronavirus variant.

Israel reclassified South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini with immediate effect, Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett’s office said after a special meeting.

Foreigners from these countries can no longer travel to Israel from those areas and Israelis returning from there must quarantine for up to 14 days in a coronavirus hotel.

After a week they can be released if they return a negative PCR test.

Britain is suspending flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe from midday on Friday and all six countries will be added to London’s red list, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said.

The new variant B.1.1529 has been detected in southern Africa.

Britain’s PA news agency reported that coronavirus cases with the variant has been confirmed in Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong. (dpa/NAN)