Netherlands bans flights from southern Africa over new Covid variant

Flights from southern Africa are banned from noon today due to concerns about the new coronavirus variant, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said. The countries involved will also be added to the list of very high-risk countries. Passengers on flights that are still en route from the region will be tested at Schiphol and must then be quarantined. 

The countries involved are Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa

According to De Jonge, the new mutation is a “reason for concern,” but a lot is still unclear. “This is a precautionary measure to prevent the introduction of a new variant that may be more contagious,” De Jonge said. 

He emphasized that the European Member States are working together. “That gives the maximum guarantee that you will at least delay its arrival.”

Dutch people in South Africa have the right to come back, “but the double test obligation and the quarantine apply to them.”

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