several countries close to southern Africa, fearing the new variant of Covid-19

Published on : 26/11/2021 – 09:46

After the detection on Thursday of a new variant of Covid-19, potentially very contagious, in South Africa, several countries around the world react on Friday. In Europe in particular, several nations are banning or considering banning flights from South Africa and neighboring countries. On the stock market, the consequences are already being felt.

B.1.1.529: this is the scientific name of the new variant of Covid-19, revealed by scientists and the South African Ministry of Health on Thursday, November 25. The South African authorities are alarmed at its multiple changes and its high level of contagiousness. Warnings taken very seriously around the world, this Friday, November 26. The reactions were not long in coming.

  • 10:30 a.m .: a case detected in Israel

The Israeli Ministry of Health announces a first case of the new variant B.1.1.529 in the country. “This is a person who has returned from Malawi,” he said, and added that he feared “two more cases of people who returned from abroad”. They were placed in confinement. Prime Minister of Israel Naftali Bennett called a late morning meeting with health officials and his government to discuss this new health situation.

  • 10:05 am: Europe follows with concern this new variant

United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands … In these countries, where the pandemic is already difficult to contain this autumn, the new variant is causing a cold sweat. And the leaders think quickly about the management of this threat. Find all the information on this subject in this article.

  • 10 a.m .: European Commission proposes to suspend flights from southern Africa

The European Commission proposes to suspend flights from the southern African region after the discovery of a new variant of Covid-19 in South Africa. In a tweet, its president Ursula von der Leyen speaks of this proposal as an “emergency brake”.

A meeting is scheduled for Friday with the member states. It will then be up to the Council whether or not to adopt this recommendation. AFP, a spokesperson for the Commission said that we must “do everything possible to slow the spread of this variant”.


  • 9:50 a.m .: Stock markets dip at open

The emergence of the B.1.1.529 variant is felt on the European stock markets at the opening. The CAC 40 fell 4.40%, London lost 3.31%, Frankfurt 3.19%. Earlier, in Asia, the markets had also reacted negatively: Tokyo closed down 2.53%. The values ​​linked to tourism are the ones that have lost the most.

  • 9:30 a.m .: Germany, Italy and UK ban arrivals from southern Africa

The United Kingdom announced on Thursday evening that it will ban entry to travelers from six African countries: as of this Friday, flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana are suspended.

Italy, she decreed Friday that entry into its territory is prohibited to anyone who has stayed in southern Africa during the last 14 days.

Germany, meanwhile, will refuse foreign travelers from South Africa “and probably neighboring countries”. This measure is to come into force in the evening.

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