NEWS

Health Ministry experts to discuss possible southern Africa travel ban

health-ministry-experts-to-discuss-possible-southern-africa-travel-ban

The Committee of Experts of the Health Ministry will Friday hold an extraordinary meeting to examine the possibility of imposing a southern Africa travel ban amid fears over a newly discovered Covid-19 variant.

The European Commission proposed on Friday that EU countries suspend travel links with countries in which the new variant of the coronavirus called B.1.1.529, or “Botswana variant,” has been found.

The Commission recommendation is not binding as decisions on travel restrictions are taken individually by the 27 governments of the EU, but it would allow better coordination, the Commission said.

“We want to have fast and coordinated and consistent measures in place because we want to avoid that there are loopholes through which the variant finds its way to Europe,” a Commission spokesman told a regular news briefing.

“So this is why early afternoon, at this meeting, we will discuss with all member states about introducing measures as soon as possible,” the spokesman said.

France has suspended all flights from southern Africa for 48 hours. [AMNA, Reuters]