The UK has slapped the entire continent of South America with a travel ban amid fears about a new variant in Brazil.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the ‘urgent decision’ would come into force from 4am tomorrow.

All arrivals to the UK from South America and Portugal – which has strong links to Brazil – will be banned.

But Mr Shapps added: ‘This measure does not apply to British and Irish Nationals and third country nationals with residence rights – but passengers returning from these destinations must self-isolate for TEN DAYS along with their households’.

The African country of Cape Verde, an island which also has links to Portugal, and the Central American nation of Panama, have also been included in the ban on 16 destinations.

The British territory of the Falkland Islands, off the coast of Argentina, do not appear to be impacted by the move, which comes after days of mounting pressure on the government to act after fears were raised about the Brazilian strain.

On Wednesday Prime Minister Boris Johnson branded the new strain ‘concerning’ amid fears that it may be resistant to vaccines.

I’ve taken the urgent decision to BAN ARRIVALS from ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, BOLIVIA, CAPE VERDE, CHILE, COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, FRENCH GUIANA, GUYANA, PANAMA, PARAGUAY, PERU, SURINAME, URUGUAY AND VENEZUELA – from TOMORROW, 15 JAN at 4AM following evidence of a new variant in Brazil. 1/3

— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) January 14, 2021

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Harrison Jones

metro.co.uk

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