LONDON (AP) – The British government is set to ban international arrivals from four countries – Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines – amid concerns about new versions of the virus, but has chosen to include European countries with a renaissance of the virus.
The Department of Transportation said on Friday that the number of countries on the “red list” will reach 39, when the last restrictions will take effect in England on April 9. Other UK countries, such as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, have similar lists.
Under international travel bans, international visitors who have traveled or traveled to red-listed countries in the past 10 days are barred from entering the UK. The countries included in the list include Brazil և South Africa, where two of the most disturbing variants of the virus have been found.
Citizens of the United Kingdom և Irish և people residing in the UK can enter as commercial flights are not prohibited. However, they must quarantine at a government-approved hotel within 10 days at their own expense; they must pass the COVID-19 test within two or eight days of self-isolation.
The measures are aimed at reducing the risk of new versions of the virus for the UK, which has the highest KOVID-related deaths in Europe at more than 126,500.
No European country is on the British Red List, although much of Europe is experiencing a resurgence of the virus, which has prompted many countries to re-impose sanctions. Health experts say the wave is caused by viral variants, including one that was first discovered in Britain and spread across the continent. The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday condemned the slow pace of vaccinations in Europe, except in Britain, saying they were losing the race to protect their people.
The Conservative government of Prime Minister Boris John Onson has been facing questions in recent days about why France, which is experiencing one of the worst outbreaks in Europe, is not on the list. However, the inclusion of France in the red list could have serious repercussions on trade flows outside the UK, given its dependence on corridor traffic.
The UK Transport Authority says most of the South African version found so far in England is related to international travel, with very few coming from Europe.
The UK has seen a sharp drop in deaths from new coronavirus infections and deaths since the winter, with a severe three-month blockade and the rapid spread of coronavirus vaccines. The UK has now given the first vaccine to more than 31 million people, or about 46% of its population, which is much higher than in the rest of Europe.
Restrictions on gatherings in England eased this week with a sharp drop in new events to around 70,000 per day earlier this year. The UK recorded 3,402 new infections on Friday, the lowest level since late September. The main mitigation this week is for groups of up to six or two households to meet outdoors.
On Friday, John Onson urged people to follow the rules, not to mix inside this Easter weekend, even if people have been vaccinated.
“Although your friends and family can be vaccinated, the vaccines do not provide 100% protection, so we just have to be careful,” he said on Twitter. “We do not think they completely reduce or eliminate the risk of transmission.”
Follow AP epidemic coverage https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic,https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine և https://apnews.com/Und UndingingtheOutbreak