- From noon Friday 26 November, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia can be added to the UK’s journey pink listing
- Passengers arriving from 4am Sunday in England can be required to ebook and pay for a government-approved lodge quarantine facility for 10 days
- British nationals arriving from these six nations between noon Friday and 4am Sunday, and who’ve been in these nations throughout the final 10 days, should quarantine at house for 10 days and take NHS PCR checks on day 2 and day 8, even when they have already got a lateral stream take a look at reserving
- Direct flights from the 6 nations can be banned from noon Friday till lodge quarantine is up and operating from 4am Sunday 28 November
- Precautionary transfer follows designation of a brand new variant below investigation by the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA)
The federal government is taking decisive precautionary motion towards a brand new COVID-19 variant by introducing journey restrictions on arrivals from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia from noon tomorrow (Friday 26 November).
It comes as Variant B.1.1.529 is asserted a variant below investigation (VuI) by the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA).
The variant contains a lot of spike protein mutations in addition to mutations in different elements of the viral genome. These are doubtlessly biologically important mutations which can change the behaviour of the virus as regards to vaccines, therapies and transmissibility. Extra investigation is required.
No instances have been recognized within the UK. We’re taking these precautionary measures to guard public well being and the progress we’ve made up to now via our profitable vaccination programme.
From noon on Friday 26 November, non-UK and Irish residents who’ve been in these nations within the earlier 10 days can be refused entry into England. This doesn’t apply to those that have stayed airside and solely transited via any of those nations whereas altering flights.
UK and Irish residents arriving between noon Friday 26 November and 4am Sunday 28 November from these six nations can be required to self-isolate at house for 10 days. They need to take PCR checks on Day 2 and Day 8 post-arrival. These may be NHS PCR checks and passengers ought to take them even when they’ve already booked or taken their lateral stream take a look at.
UK and Irish residents arriving from 4am Sunday should isolate in a government-approved facility for 10 days. Throughout their keep, they are going to be required to take a coronavirus take a look at on day 2 and day 8.
A brief ban on business and personal planes travelling from the six nations may also come into power at noon on Friday till 4am Sunday to scale back the danger of importing this new variant below investigation whereas lodge quarantine is stood up. This excludes cargo and freight with out passengers.
The UK authorities thanks the federal government of South Africa for its surveillance of this variant and its transparency.
In the meantime UKHSA continues to observe the scenario carefully, in partnership with scientific and public well being organisations the world over, and we are going to provide to work collaboratively with the 6 nations which were at present positioned on the UK pink listing to grasp the virus and attainable mitigations.
Secretary of State for Well being and Social Care, Sajid Javid, mentioned:
As a part of our shut surveillance of variants the world over, we’ve change into conscious of the unfold of a brand new doubtlessly regarding variant, which UKHSA has designated a variant below investigation.
We’re taking precautionary motion to guard public well being and the progress of our vaccine rollout at a vital second as we enter winter, and we’re monitoring the scenario carefully.
I wish to pay tribute to our world-leading scientists who’re working always to maintain our nation secure, and I urge everybody to maintain doing their bit by the getting the jab and following public well being steering.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, mentioned:
We’ve all the time maintained public security is our primary precedence, which is why we’ve stored in place measures which permit us to guard the UK from new variants.
We’re taking this early precautionary motion now to guard the progress made throughout the nation, and can proceed to maintain an in depth eye on the scenario as we proceed into the winter.
Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA Chief Govt, mentioned:
Scientists at UKHSA are in fixed shut collaboration with colleagues all over the world to determine and assess variants as quickly as they emerge. That is probably the most important variant we’ve encountered thus far and pressing analysis is underway to study extra about its transmissibility, severity and vaccine-susceptibility. The outcomes of those investigations will decide what public well being actions might restrict the affect of B.1.1.529.
It is a clear reminder to everybody that this pandemic will not be over, and all of us have a duty to do what we will to restrict transmission and scale back the an infection price and stop the emergence of latest variants. This implies coming ahead for vaccination as quickly as attainable and following public well being recommendation. Put on a face protecting in crowded locations the place it’s tough to keep away from coming into shut contact with others, attempt to meet folks in well-ventilated areas and search a take a look at instantly you probably have signs.
The primary genomes of this variant have been uploaded to the worldwide GISAID database on 22 November. Genomes have now been uploaded from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong however the extent of unfold will not be but decided.
The federal government has been clear it would take decisive motion if essential to include the virus and has taken the choice so as to add these locations to the pink listing.
We proceed to work with the hospitality sector to make sure it is able to meet any elevated demand – with a whole bunch of rooms on standby which may be made accessible to ebook as wanted.
British nationals in these nations ought to test International, Commonwealth and Improvement Workplace (FCDO) journey recommendation and comply with native steering. The FCDO will proceed to supply tailor-made consular help to British nationals in nation in want of help abroad on a 24/7 foundation.
The UKHSA produces danger assessments of the unfold of variants of concern or variants below investigation internationally. These danger assessments cowl a spread of things for every nation together with evaluation of surveillance and sequencing functionality, accessible surveillance and genome sequencing information, proof of in-country neighborhood transmission of COVID-19 variants, proof of exportation of latest variants to the UK or different nations and journey connectivity with the UK.
- British and Irish residents, or these with residence rights, arriving to England from nations on the pink listing should ebook a managed quarantine lodge prematurely. The quarantine bundle will embrace a managed quarantine lodge, quarantine transport and a journey take a look at bundle for COVID-19 checks on day 2 and day 8 of quarantine. Learn extra about booking and staying in a quarantine hotel
- Additional data on worldwide journey necessities may be discovered elsewhere on GOV.UK, together with recommendation on transiting via pink listing nations.
- Arrivals to the UK might want to meet the UK’s well being and border necessities and adjust to the related quarantine restrictions if coming from a pink nation or if not absolutely vaccinated. Should you don’t have the right documentation prepared to satisfy UK well being and border necessities, you could delay your self and others, be denied boarding, or face a nice.
- Passengers arriving after 4am Sunday 28 November can be required to ebook a managed quarantine service (MQS) quarantine lodge. Bookings will open from noon Friday 26 November.