More than 40 states in Asia, Europe and the Americas have banned incoming travellers from South Africa and the United Kingdom after the two countries announced that a new variant of the COVID-19 virus is driving the current resurgence of the disease, which is seeing higher numbers of confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
Preliminary data suggests the new Coronavirus variant that is now dominating in the second wave is very infectious and spreading faster than the first wave.
Here is a list of some countries that have blocked South African and UK visitors from entering via their air and land borders:
- Sudan: banned travellers arriving from Britain, the Netherlands and South Africa, starting Monday and until 5 January.
- Tunisia: suspended air links with Britain, South Africa and Australia, from this Monday and until further notice. Anyone who has resided or transited through these countries will not be allowed access to Tunisian territory.
- El Salvador: prohibited entry from Britain (and South Africa)
- Switzerland: Stopped foreign nationals arriving from the UK (and South Africa) and mandated quarantine for people arriving since 14 December.
- Israel: initially banned flights from Britain (along with Denmark and South Africa) then forbid any foreign nationals from entering the country for 10 days from Monday.
- Oman: suspended all entry to the country by foreigners and halted international passenger flights, starting Tuesday for one week. Cargo flights are excluded.
- Saudi Arabia: paused all international passenger flights and land and sea arrivals for a week or until clearer details emerged about the COVID variant, with cargo flights and supply chains exempt.
- Turkey: barred flights from Britain (as well as Denmark, the Netherlands and South Africa) for unknown period.
- France: Banned all passenger and cargo traffic travelling in the air and through the English Channel tunnel from Britain until midnight Tuesday, the toughest restrictions yet.
- Belgium: Blocked the tunnel and airports from all passenger travel – even transit – for 24 hours from 12am Sunday.
- Germany: Cancelled passenger flights from the UK until 31 December.
- Ireland: Flights banned from the UK for 48 hours, except for Irish residents and Irish-bound passengers stranded while transiting through British airports.