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Coronavirus

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.

Read more:

New COVID-19 variant triggers global alarm as WHO urges caution

WHO says will take several weeks to understand new COVID-19 variant

Explainer: What is the new B.1.1.529 COVID-19 variant?

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