Coronavirus: Countries shut borders over new variant (BBC News – November 26, 2021)

More countries are tightening their travel restrictions after a new coronavirus variant was identified in southern Africa earlier this week. The UK and Singapore are among those rushing in stricter quarantine measures or banning flights from South Africa and neighbouring countries.

The EU is proposing to ban flights from the region across the whole bloc. Scientists still have much to learn about the variant, but say they are very worried about it.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it will take a few weeks to understand the impact of the new variant, as scientists work to determine how transmissible it is.

The variant is very different to the others that have emerged so far. Scientists have said it is the most heavily mutated version yet, which means vaccines, which were designed using the original strain from Wuhan, may not be as effective.

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