Ban on visitors from South Africa over Covid strain concerns

Returning residents will need to self-isolate for 10 days under new restrictions.

Ban on visitors from South Africa over Covid strain concerns Pixabay
Coronavirus: Restrictions in place over concerns surrounding new strain.

A travel ban on visitors from South Africa has been introduced.

Restrictions were put in place over concerns of another new strain of Covid-19, linked to the country.

The regulations will require UK nationals or residents returning to self-isolate for 10 days.

The rules will apply to the individual traveller and their household, and came into force at 6pm on Wednesday.

The Scottish Government said all measures relating to South Africa will be reviewed in light of emerging evidence on the public health risks.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson said: “These steps are a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of a variant strain of coronavirus which has been detected in South Africa, which we are still in the early stages of learning about, to Scotland.

“This decision has been taken on clinical advice to help further safeguard public health and keep communities safe.”

Work will also be undertaken to contact individuals who have recently arrived from South Africa in the last 10 days to encourage them and their households to isolate.

Dr Gregor Smith, chief medical officer, added: “A mutated strain of the virus has been detected in South Africa with greater transmissibility between humans and it is appropriate that we err on the side of caution.

“We do not want to see transmission of this strain in this country and it is imperative that anybody who has recently travelled from South Africa, and their household, should self-isolate for 10 days and follow the guidance laid out by the Scottish Government.”

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