The UK on Wednesday introduced travel restrictions to South Africa to spread another new variant of the coronavirus, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
The restrictions, which were effective immediately, were introduced following the discovery of two cases of the virus strain in the UK.
“This new variant is very worrying as it is even more transmissible and appears to have mutated further than the new variant discovered in the UK,” said Hancock, referring to a strain of the virus discovered in the UK that was also known to have done so found more contagious.
The health minister said all individuals in the UK who had contracted the South African variant, as well as their close contacts, had been quarantined.
In addition to the travel restrictions, the government requested quarantine anyone who was in close contact with someone who had been in South Africa in the past two weeks, according to Hancock.
“You have to limit all contact with other people,” he said.
The discovery of cases that officials believe may be a new, more transmissible variant of the coronavirus in the UK follows last week’s announcement that a new strain has spread to the south of England.
In response to the growing number of coronavirus cases, the UK ordered a number of coronavirus restrictions in the affected areas.
More than 50 nations have also imposed their own travel restrictions on the UK, including France.
A ban on cross-channel cargo to Europe has ravaged Dover’s key port and raised food shortage fears in the country’s supermarkets due to paralysis in supply chains.
Hancock announced on Wednesday that it would extend strict lockdown measures in further parts of the south of England to contain the spread of the disease.
The UK is one of the hardest hit countries in Europe, with more than 68,000 deaths from the virus.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)