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Europe moves to halt flights from southern Africa over worrying COVID variant

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Germany and Italy on Friday joined Britain in banning most travel from South Africa as governments scrambled to prevent the spread of a new COVID-19 variant with a large number of mutations.

Germany’s new travel restrictions, starting Friday night, will affect South Africa and “probably neighboring nations,” Health Minister Jens Spahn said, with only German nationals allowed entry.

They must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival even if vaccinated.

“The last thing we need now is an introduced new variant that causes even more problems,” Spahn said, with Germany in the grip of a ferocious fourth wave of the pandemic.

Germany has seen new record daily case numbers in recent days and passed the mark of 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday.

In Rome, the government on Friday announced it was banning entry to those who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, or Eswatini in the past fortnight.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza said scientists were studying the........

© The Times of Israel

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