The European Commission has proposed to suspend flights from the southern African region due to the discovery of a new variant of Covid-19, its president Ursula von der Leyen announced on Friday. Italy and Germany have already taken action.
“The European Commission will propose, in close coordination with the Member States, to activate the emergency brake to interrupt air travel from the Southern African region due to variant B.1.1.529“the official tweeted, the day after a similar decision from London.
The @EU_Commission will propose, in close coordination with Member States, to activate the emergency brake to stop air travel from the southern African region due to the variant of concern B.1.1.529.
– Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) November 26, 2021
Refused to enter Germany from Friday evening
Germany will refuse entry into its territory to foreign travelers from South Africa on Friday evening, outgoing German Health Minister Jens Spahn announced on Friday.
This rule will apply to South Africa and “probably neighboring countries“, he added. Only German citizens will be allowed to return, respecting a quarantine of 14 days, even if they are vaccinated.
“The last thing we need now is the introduction of a new variant which causes even more problems“, explained the minister.
Germany will among others #South Africa declare it to be a virus variant area. With the entry into force tonight, airlines will only be allowed to travel to ???????? in addition, there is a 14-day quarantine for everyone, including those who have been vaccinated. (1/2)
– Jens Spahn (@jensspahn) November 26, 2021
Restriction extended to southern Africa for Italy and the Netherlands
Italy, for its part, prohibits the entry of its territory to anyone who has stayed in southern Africa “in the last fourteen days“Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced on Friday, citing”maximum precaution“facing the new variant of Covid.
The countries affected by this measure are South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini, he said.
I signed a new ordinance banning entry to Italy for anyone who has been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini in the last 14 days.
Our scientists are hard at work studying variant B.1.1.529.
In the meantime, maximum precaution.
– Roberto Speranza (@robersperanza) November 26, 2021
Dutch Minister of Health Hugo De Jonghe has also announced the ban from Friday noon on flights from southern Africa.
Therefore, the affected countries are added to the list of countries posing a very high risk. Among the new additions are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotoh, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Passengers on flights that are still on their way will be tested at Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam) and will then have to respect a quarantine.
According to the minister, this new mutation is “worrying“, although there is still a lot to be clarified.”This is a precautionary measure, in order to cushion the introduction of a new variant that may be more contagious.“, he added.
The Dutch in South Africa have the right to return, “but for them, the double obligation of a test and a quarantine applies“.
As of today 12:00 noon, there will be a no-fly zone for countries in southern Africa. These countries are classified as very high-risk areas. This means a quarantine and double testing obligation for travelers from these countries. pic.twitter.com/vo9kSRPP2t
— Hugo de Jonge (@hugodejonge) November 26, 2021