The government will suspend all flights from six southern African countries starting at noon tomorrow and will request PCR tests from those who have recently traveled there in an attempt to avoid the new variant.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The first indication we have of this variant is that it may be more transmissible than the Delta variant and the vaccines we currently have may be less effective against it.
“Now, to be clear, we haven’t detected any of these new variants in the UK yet.
“But we have always been clear that we will take action to protect the progress we have made.
“So what we will do is from noon tomorrow we will suspend all flights from six countries in southern Africa and add those countries to the travel red list.
“These countries are South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
“We will demand that anyone arriving from these countries from 4 a.m. on Sunday be quarantined in hotels.
“If someone arrives earlier, they have to self-isolate at home and have a PCR test on the second and eighth day. And if someone arrived from any of these countries in the past 10 days, we would ask them to take PCR tests. “