Journey to the UK from each nation in South America, in addition to Portugal, has been banned resulting from fears over the coronavirus variant first recognized in Brazil.
The federal government’s COVID-19 operations committee met at lunchtime to debate the difficulty, with the ban introduced shortly afterwards.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted: “I’ve taken the pressing resolution 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 proof of a brand new variant in Brazil.
“Journey from PORTUGAL to the UK can even be suspended given its robust journey hyperlinks with Brazil – performing as one other approach to scale back the danger of importing infections. Nonetheless, there’s an exemption for hauliers travelling from Portugal (solely), to permit transport of important items.
“This measure doesn’t apply to British and Irish Nationals and third nation nationals with residence rights – however passengers coming back from these locations should self-isolate for TEN DAYS together with their households.”
Journey bans have beforehand been launched for these coming from Denmark and South Africa, in response to different new variants to have developed in these nations.
Residence Workplace minister Victoria Atkins earlier instructed Sky Information the federal government had “acted decisively” up to now following the event of latest variants in different elements of the world.
Requested why journey between Brazil and neighbouring nations to the UK had not but been closed off, she stated: “After all, folks flying into the UK, whether or not from South America or elsewhere are required to have a 10-day quarantine interval after they land within the UK. That’s necessary.
“By way of the choice on journey measures, it takes just a little little bit of time.
“What we have to guarantee is that after we make these very, essential choices which have a big impact on folks’s private lives, but in addition companies, now we have received to have just a little little bit of time to let that mattress in.
“The prime minister was clear that measures will likely be taken, now we have acted decisively up to now with each the Denmark and South African variants, so I would not need to speculate additional at this stage.”
At Christmas, Brazil was amongst plenty of nations to droop all flights from or by way of the UK because of the emergence of a brand new COVID variant in Britain.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday instructed MPs that the federal government was “involved” in regards to the new Brazilian variant.
He stated: “We have already got powerful measures… to guard this nation from new infections coming in from overseas.
“We’re taking steps to do this in respect of the Brazilian variant.”
Mr Johnson stated there have been “a lot of questions” over the Brazil variant, together with whether or not it’s immune to COVID vaccines.
In the meantime, the federal government can be underneath strain after it delayed the introduction of pre-departure testing necessities for all worldwide travellers to England.
Individuals arriving in England from overseas will now must show they’ve examined unfavorable for coronavirus from Monday and never Friday as initially deliberate.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps stated the delay was to “give worldwide arrivals time to arrange” after the total steering was solely revealed on Wednesday.
That is regardless of Mr Shapps’s division having introduced the plans for new testing requirements last week.
Labour MP Yvette Cooper, the chair of the Home of Commons Residence Affairs Committee, posted on Twitter: “No steering out with 2 days to go. And now delays.
“What on earth are they doing?”