The European Commission wants a flight stop to South Africa

The UK announced on Thursday evening that flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland (Eswatini), Zimbabwe and Botswana to the UK will be stopped from noon on Friday.

Now the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, states that the Union wants to follow suit. The Commission proposes to “stop flights from the southern African region”, she writes.

“Damages the economy”

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor responded to a statement in a statement issued yesterday stating that their decision “seems premature” and that it hopes to withdraw.

South Africa’s tourism, which has just begun to recover from several severe shutdowns and Pandor, is worried about how the decision will affect the country’s economy.

South Africa has confirmed about 100 cases so far. It seems to be spreading fastest in the province of Gauteng, but can also occur in the country’s other eight provinces, researchers fear.

Has several mutations

The new variant, B.1.1.529, has at least ten different mutations, which can be compared with Delta’s two and Beta’s three.

– The worrying thing is that when you have so many mutations, it can be important for how the virus behaves, says WHO’s Maria Van Kerkhove according to the news agency AFP.

The World Health Organization, WHO, has not yet decided whether the variant should be classified as a variant of interest or whether it should end up on the list of the most worrying variants.

FHM: “No cases in Sweden”

According to the Swedish Public Health Agency, there are no established cases of the new virus variant in Sweden. The authority is also not aware of any cases in any other European country, reports TT.

British citizens returning from countries that have been placed on the country’s “red list” must be quarantined. It must also German citizens who return to Germany from Friday night, says Minister of Health Jens Spahn.

– This new variant worries us. That is why we are acting proactively and early, Spahn says according to the news agency Reuters.

Anders Tegnell does not believe that a travel stop would have any major effect, other than for countries with direct flights to the affected areas, he tells TT.

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Hear SVT’s Africa correspondent Johan Ripås about the new corona variant in South Africa. Photo: NIC BOTHMA / EPA / TT, SVT

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