Amidst concerns over new virus variants, The British government is soon to ban international arrivals from four more countries which include Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines.
The British government is preparing to ban international arrivals from four new countries — Bangladesh, Kenya Pakistan and the Philippines — due to concerns over new virus variants but has opted against including France and other European nations that are facing a resurrection of the virus.
The Department for Transport mentioned that there will now be 39 countries on its “red list” when the latest restrictions are imposed in England beginning April 9. The other nations of the U.K. like Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — have similar lists to those that impose in England.
As per the terms of the travel bans, international visitors who have left from or traveled through countries on the list in the previous 10 days are denied entry into England. Countries on the list contain Brazil and South Africa, where two of the most concerning virus variants have been recognized.
British and Irish citizens and people who have residence rights in the U.K. can arrive, as commercial flights are not barred. But, they must quarantine in a government-sanctioned hotel for 10 days at their own expenditure and must take a COVID-19 test on days two and eight of their self-isolation.
While much of Europe is seeing a strong recurrence of the virus that has prompted many countries to impose lockdown restrictions, no European nations are on the British red list. Health experts comment the surge is being driven by virus variants, comprising the one first found in Britain, that are far-reaching the continent. The World Health Organization on Thursday complained the slow speed of vaccinations in European nations other than Britain, mentioning they were behind the race to protect their people.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government has seen questions in these days regarding why France, which is undergoing one of the worst outbreaks in Europe, is not on the list. However, another fact is that putting France on the red list could have serious repercussions for trade flows in and out of the U.K., because of its dependency on traffic from cross-Channel ports.
The U.K. transport department said the majority of cases of the South African variant detected in England so far were linked to international travel and that very few are thought to have come from Europe.
The above restrictions target at decreasing the threat posed by new virus variants into the U.K., which has resulted new coronavirus infections and deaths fall sharply since the winter amidst a strict 3-month lockdown and Britain’s swift rollout of coronavirus vaccines. The country has by far given a first vaccine shot to over 31 million people, which is 46% of its population.