UAE bans travelers from southern African states over COVID-19 concerns

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The United Arab Emirates has banned entry to travelers from seven south African countries due to concerns related to the spread of a new COVID-19 variant, the state news agency WAM reported on Friday.

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The statement said the decision will apply on travelers from the seven countries – South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini – starting November 29.

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Both neighboring countries of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have taken similar measures suspending flights and travelers from these countries.

On Friday, global authorities reacted with alarm to a new coronavirus variant detected in South Africa, with the EU and Britain among those tightening border controls as researchers sought to find out if the mutation was vaccine-resistant.

Hours after Britain banned flights from South Africa and neighboring countries and asked travelers returning from there to quarantine, the World Health Organization (WHO) cautioned against hasty travel bans.

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