After the government’s Coronavirus Committee meeting on Thursday, Transportation Secretary Grant Shaps announced on Twitter:
“I have taken the urgent decision to ban arrivals from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela, starting Friday January 15th. A new change in Brazil.”
I have taken the urgent decision to ban arrivals from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela 4 – after evidence of a new variable in Brazil. 1/3
– Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (grantshapps)
January 14, 2021
Travel from Portugal to the UK will also be suspended except for important cargo transportation due to the country’s strong travel links with Brazil, according to Sky News reports.
This measure does not apply to British and Irish citizens and third-country nationals who have the right of abode. However, passengers returning from these destinations are said to self-isolate for ten days with their families.
Nearly a year after the discovery of the Coronavirus in the United Kingdom, public health experts describe the emergency as a sign of “a colossal failure of policy and practice,” writes The Guardian.
More than 100,000 deaths were recorded on Wednesday. The numbers are constantly increasing and exceeding the worst fears during the first wave of the pandemic. With national health and medical care overwhelmed, so too come warnings that the toughest weeks of the crisis are yet to come for the British.
Amid lockdowns and widespread restrictions that severely limit privacy and work, concerns are mounting about another mutating virus. It is feared to spread faster than the original alternative from China and risk exacerbating an already catastrophic situation.
Read more: Infection control doctor believes more cases of the UK virus mutation
Previous travel ban
Travel bans were imposed before after new types of the virus were discovered in Denmark and South Africa. On Christmas, Brazil was one of several countries that stopped flights to or from the UK due to the emergence of a mutated virus.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told lawmakers that the government was “concerned” about the new Brazilian alternative.
“We already have strict measures in place to protect this country from new infections coming from abroad. We are taking steps to do that for the Brazilian species.”
Boris Johnson acknowledged that there are “a lot of questions” about the Brazilian alternative, including whether it is vaccine-resistant as COVID-19.
The Prime Minister is under great pressure and is being questioned about how he handled the worst crisis since World War II. The numbers of injured and dead bars are reaching their capacity and undermining the economy with dire consequences for individuals, families and businesses. The uncertainty is growing more and more about how long vaccines provide protection and how effective they are against mutated viral variants.
Read more: Sweden is lagging behind in the hunt for mutated coronaviruses
He gets cash
The government has also been criticized for delaying testing for all international airline passengers. Those coming to England from abroad must prove that they have tested negative for the Coronavirus starting Monday and not Friday as originally planned, according to Sky News.
According to Transportation Secretary Grant Shaps, the goal was “to give international arrivals time to prepare.” The full rules weren’t published until Wednesday, despite plans for new testing requirements his ministry announced last week.
The European Union is warning that the highly contagious type of virus first detected in the United Kingdom has a “significant impact” in other European countries. According to Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, “the spread must be stopped at all costs”.