African travellers to Scotland required to quarantine amid concerns over Covid mutation

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Travellers from six African countries who have arrived in Scotland in the past 10 days will be required to enter quarantine amid growing alarm over a new mutation of the Covid virus. 

The Scottish Government has said that anyone who has come from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana needs to enter a Managed Quarantine hotel, and will need a day two and day eight PCR test regardless of their vaccination status.

Managed Quarantine accommodation will be stood up to cater for any arrivals from these countries. 

There are no direct flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe or Botswana into Scotland, but the measures are being put in place for anyone arriving in the UK and crossing the border. 

The decision follows concerns about cases of the emerging B.1.1.529 variant cases in the south of Africa, given concerns over a high number of mutations and the effectiveness of vaccines against it.

All six countries have now been added to the UK’s ‘red list’, prohibiting travel. 

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said: “International travel restrictions are necessary to protect the greater public health. While many restrictions have been significantly relaxed – largely thanks to the success of the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 vaccine roll out – we have always said it may be necessary to quickly impose fresh measures to protect public health in Scotland.”

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