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UK banning travelers from South America, Portugal over Brazilian coronavirus strain

UK banning travelers from South America, Portugal over Brazilian coronavirus strain
© getty

United Kingdom Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Thursday announced a travelers ban for those coming from South America and Portugal after a new strain of the coronavirus was discovered there. 

The ban will apply to travelers from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela, the BBC reports

Portugal is being included in the ban "given its strong travel links with Brazil,” Shapps said. However, the ban won’t apply to those bringing essential goods into the area.

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The announcement came after a meeting of ministers on Thursday. British and Irish citizens and foreign nationals with residence rights are exempt from the ban as well but are required to quarantine for 10 days once they arrive. 

The ban was announced shortly after a new travel requirement was put in place that made travelers get a negative COVID-19 test at least three days before traveling to England.

The ban also comes weeks after other countries put restrictions on those traveling from the U.K. and South Africa due to the emergence of new coronavirus strains in those areas. Many South American countries already had a ban on those coming from the U.K.

Despite the arrival of vaccines that are being administered around the world, many countries are seeing a spike in cases and are implementing new lockdown measures and travel regulations.

The United States announced that all international passengers coming to the country must get a negative test result before boarding a flight. China is putting millions of people back under lockdown as cases rise before one of its biggest holidays of the year.