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UK adds six southern African countries to ‘red list’ due to new Covid variant

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new coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 -- red-flagged by health experts as highly transmissible and effective at evading the body’s immune response -- was first detected in South Africa earlier this week.

The countries that have now been added to the UK’s Red List include South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, as well as Lesotho and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), both of which are landlocked within South Africa.

The flights from these countries will be temporarily suspended from noon on Friday. However, travellers arriving from any of the six southern African nations to the UK on Friday will have to quarantine for 10 days in a government-approved hotel, according to the slew of protocols announced.

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