Arrivals from 30 countries are now subject to UK travel bans after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps added two more to the list on Thursday.
“To help to stop the spread of the COVID-19 variant identified in South Africa, we are banning all arrivals from Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo from 4am tomorrow,” Shapps announced via Twitter.
“All passengers from these countries except British & Irish Nationals and third country nationals with residents rights will be denied entry,” he added, explaining that the Government is keeping a close watch on new strains of the virus.
All people travelling to the UK are already required to produce a negative Covid-19 test before departure and to self-isolate for up to 10 days on arrival.
In a press briefing on Thursday, Home Secretary Priti Patel was questioned about future plans for international travel restrictions. She said that it was “far too early” to be speculating if people should be booking a summer holiday adding that “when it comes to borders and travel, it’s right that the Government does everything we can right now to protect the roll-out of this vaccine.”
However, criticism of the UK’s border measures has come from World Health Organisation consultant Alvaro Garbayo who, after arriving in the London on Thursday, tweeted Health Secretary Matt Hancock to say: “Border control at Heathrow a complete mess, a crowd queuing for more than one hour with not enough space to keep safe distance. Just making sure we all get infected before entering the UK? Proactively pushing for herd immunity?”.