The federal government has reintroduced pink checklist restrictions on arrivals from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia with rapid impact.
The transfer is available in response to the invention of a brand new variant of Covid-19.
Variant B.1.1.529 has been declared a “variant beneath investigation” by the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA).
Officers mentioned the variant consists of numerous spike protein mutations in addition to mutations in different components of the viral genome.
These are “doubtlessly biologically important mutations which can change the behaviour of the virus close to vaccines, remedies and transmissibility”.
Extra investigation is required, the federal government mentioned in a press release.
On account of the choice, British and Irish residents, or these with residence rights, arriving to England from international locations on the pink checklist should ebook a managed quarantine resort upfront.
The package deal will embody a managed quarantine resort, quarantine transport and a take a look at package deal for Covid-19 on day two and day two of quarantine.
From noon, non-UK and Irish residents who’ve been in these international locations within the earlier ten days might be refused entry.
This doesn’t apply to those that have stayed airside and solely transited by means of any of those international locations whereas altering flights.
A brief ban on business and personal planes travelling from the six international locations will even come into pressure at noon on Friday till early on Sunday.
No circumstances of the brand new variant have been recognized within the UK up to now.
Transport secretary, Grant Shapps, mentioned: “We’ve at all times maintained public security is our primary precedence, which is why we’ve stored in place measures which permit us to guard the UK from new variants.
“We’re taking this early precautionary motion now to guard the progress made throughout the nation, and can proceed to maintain a detailed eye on the scenario as we proceed into the winter.”
Commenting on the information, Rory Boland, Which? Journey editor, mentioned the scenario remained fluid.
He added: “This worrying information is a reminder that journey just isn’t again to regular.
“The pandemic continues to disrupt passengers’ journey plans, typically with little or no discover.
“As all flights are being suspended to those international locations, all passengers might be entitled to a full refund for the vacation or flight, as long as they booked with a UK or EU service, or with any service because of depart from the UK or EU.
“Getting a refund for lodging may be tougher, and depends on the coverage of the property.
“We now have seen restrictions change in a number of international locations over current days and refunds aren’t at all times assured.
“It’s important that travellers select vacation suppliers with good, versatile reserving insurance policies in case your journey can’t go forward.”