UK bans travellers from South America and Portugal: the key questions

uk bans travellers from south america and portugal the key questions scaled

Arrivals to the UK from Portugal and South America have been banned due to Brazilian variant of coronavirus – though residents of the UK and Ireland will still be able to travel home.

These are the key questions and answers.

What has happened – and why?

The UK government has been increasingly concerned about a new variant of coronavirus that has emerged from Brazil. Like variants that have been identified in South Africa and the UK, it is alarmingly infectious.

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, issued a sudden ban on arrivals from every South American country except the Falkland Islands, and also the Central American nation of Panama and the Atlantic archipelago of Cape Verde.

The full list includes Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The ban takes effect from 4am on 15 January.

In addition, travel between Portugal and the UK has been banned because of the strong links between Portugal and Brazil.

INDY/GO Weekly NewsletterTIME TO TRAVEL!

INDY/GO Weekly NewsletterTIME TO TRAVEL!

Mr Shapps said the ban would act “as another way to reduce the risk of importing infections”.

Are there many people who will be caught by this?

The Latin American ban will have very little effect. Almost no one is travelling between the region and the UK, due to the multiple restrictions and requirements for testing and quarantine.

The Portuguese ban will have much more effect, because there are significant numbers of British people either resident or on extended holidays there.

There is an exemption for lorry drivers travelling from Portugal, to allow transport of essential goods.

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