Entry into England will be banned to passengers who have travelled from or through any southern African countries in the last 10 days. The countries listed include Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe – as well as the Indian Ocean nations Mauritius and Seychelles.
The arrival ban is being imposed due to the concerns of the new coronavirus variant found in South Africa. Health Secretary Matt Hancock reported that he was “incredibly worried” about the variant.
British and Irish nationals, permanent residents and airline crew arriving to England from the listed countries will be exempt from this rule, however they must self-isolate for 10 days with the rest of their household on their return. It is important to note that these passengers cannot be released from self-isolation through the Test to Release scheme.
The ban will be in place for at least two weeks from Saturday 9th January and the same measures are expected to be imposed by Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.