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South Africa to be put on England’s travel red list over new Covid variant

Flights from six countries will be banned as officials review travel measures after scientists voice concern over variant

Flights from southern Africa will be banned, with six countries placed under England’s red list travel restrictions, after scientists raised the alarm over what is feared to be the worst Covid-19 variant yet identified.

Whitehall sources said the B.1.1.529 variant, which is feared to be more transmissible and has the potential to evade immunity, posed “a potentially significant threat to the vaccine programme which we have to protect at all costs”.

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