The United Kingdom and the European Union have been quick to halt flights or require mandatory quarantine for returning residents/citizens from South Africa + some also from Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Eswatini.
The reason for this latest Covid-19 move is a new variant found in South Africa and select other countries that have double the number of mutations compared to the widely circulating delta causing havoc around the globe.
The governments try to assess whether the current vaccines efficiently block the B.1.1.529 variant that is spreading much faster in South Africa than in previous ones.
The UK is halting all the flights from South Africa, and they can resume next week once the government has mandatory hotel quarantine set up for arrivals.
The European Union has proposed that member states halt air travel from South Africa. Only German citizens and residents are allowed to enter the country from South Africa starting midnight on Friday. Some bloc countries are banning everyone entering who has been in South Africa and other Southern African nations for the past 14 days.
This covid-19 continuous to cause headache and havoc in various countries.
The infection numbers are way up in Europe just in time for the region’s critical Christmas and New Years’ holidays. As a result, countries are reintroducing lockdowns and other restrictions trying to limit the virus collapsing the healthcare sector.
This is a good reminder that it still doesn’t make much sense to purchase air travel much in advance. The situation and travel restrictions can change without very little advance notice.
I am supposed to meet friends in Paris, Lisbon, and Amsterdam right after Christmas, hoping that the situation won’t worsen in the next four weeks.