The UK has placed South Africa temporarily back under red list travel restrictions after scientists raised the alarm over the latest mutation.
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said from midday today six African countries would be added to the red list, with flights being temporarily banned.
Western Cape officials had been among those pushing hard for the restrictions on South Africans to be lifted, citing negative impacts on the country’s economy.
The other countries also removed are Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
One expert described the variant, as the worst one the world has seen so far, and there is concern it has the potential to evade immunity.