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The UK has today imposed more travel bans following the discovery of a new mutant strain of Covid-19 – so what countries are now affected?
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced travel from 15 South American countries, as well as Portugal – singled out because of its "strong travel links" with Brazil.
It joins large swathes of Southern Africa, which was hit by similar bans after another highly-transmissible variant was identified in South Africa.
On December 23, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said two cases of the South African strain had been found in the UK, but it is not yet known if the Brazilian variant has made it to these shores.
Are you affected? Scroll down for a full list of countries and email [email protected]
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British and Irish nationals, longer-term visa holders and permanent residents can still enter if they have passed through countries with a ban in place – but must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival along with their household.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday said he was “concerned” about the Brazil strain, already detected in Japan.
And experts say they are unsure whether the Brazilian or South African strain will affect the effectiveness of vaccines.
Bans covering South America and Portugal will come into effect at 4am, with foreign nationals who have passed through any of these countries within 10 days not allowed entry to the UK.
More bans have been put in place after a new strain was found thought to have originated in Brazil
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
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Countries slapped with a UK travel ban
- Cape Verde
- French Guiana
- South Africa
Transport Minister Grant Shapps said travel bans were being put in place for South America and Portugal from 4am
The latest mutation was discovered in Japan after four people travelled from the Amazonas state to Tokyo earlier this month.
Much is unknown about the variant, including whether vaccines will be effective against it, and scientists are not yet sure if it is more transmissable.
At this stage it is not believed to make people more ill.
Mr Johnson said there are "many questions" about the strain, which is being investigated by Japanese scientists.
The Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) says at the moment there is "no proof" that the variant is more infectious than previous Covid versions.
However the newly-identified variant is believed to share characteristics with the UK strain
A man in his 40s had difficulty breathing, while a woman in her 30s was suffering with a headache and a sore throat.
The other two who tested positive for the variant were children, with one suffering from a fever.