This Friday, France suspended flights from Mozambique, South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Essuatini, with immediate effect and for at least 48 hours, after a new variant of the coronavirus was found.
“These measures are intended to protect against the arrival of this virus,” said Health Minister Olivier Véran, who stressed that this is a new variant that is spreading rapidly, but that there are few cases so far.
The new variant identified by South Africa, called B.1.1.529, which caused a 4% drop in the opening of the Paris stock exchange, worries French authorities, who said this morning that they would act to prevent its entry into French territory.
France joins Austria, Italy, Israel and Singapore in the list of countries that this Friday banned the entry of travelers from Mozambique, along with other southern African countries, as a precautionary measure due to the detected new variant of the coronavirus in South Africa.
The United Kingdom, Germany and Japan also announced the imposition of restrictive measures on the entry of travelers from countries in that African region, in particular from South Africa, where the new variant was detected.
South Africa’s Department of Health and scientists from that country’s Genomic Surveillance Network revealed details of a newly detected and highly mutated Covid-19 variant – B.1.1,529 – on Thursday.
Contagions with B.1.1,529 have so far been detected in Botswana, Hong Kong and South Africa, news that has resulted in further disruptions on international flights.