Brazil joins US in barring entry for South African visitors to slow new variant's spread
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BRASILIA - Brazil on Tuesday barred entry for visitors from South Africa to stop the spread of a new coronavirus variant from the country, according to the federal government's gazette.
The barring of South African visitors is in addition to a pre-existing prohibition on entry for people coming from Britain, which has also seen a new variant. Brazil, home to the world's second deadliest coronavirus pandemic, also has its own new variant from the north of the country, which researcher sbelieve is more transmissible.
"International flights to Brazil originating in or passing through the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Republic of South Africa are prohibited on a temporary basis," the gazette said.
The measure applies to anyone who has been in either country"in the last 14 days," it added.
Those who fail to comply may face arrest, repatriation,deportation, or have their asylum request denied, it said.
On Monday, US President Joe Biden signed an order imposing a ban on most non-US citizens entering the country who have recently been in South Africa starting Saturday.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed that Biden will re-impose an entry ban on nearly all non-US travellers who have been in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and 26 countries in Europe that allow travel across open borders that was set to expire Tuesday.
“With the pandemic worsening and more contagious variants spreading, this isn’t the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” Psaki said at a news briefing.