Britain will block flights from six African countries as it investigates a new variant.

Britain will temporarily ban flights from six African countries from Friday as the Ministry of Health is investigating a new variant of the corona virus.

Health Minister Sajid Javid did not mention the countries in a tweet on Thursday. But he said the six countries will be added to the country’s red list, requiring British travelers coming from those countries to be quarantined upon arrival.

“More data is needed, but we are taking precautions now,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday, scientists in South Africa identified a worrying new variant whose mutations indicate a “great leap in evolution”. That variant causes a peak in new infections there.

Since the start of the pandemic, a number of variants have emerged. An underlying concern about new variants is whether they will hinder progress against the pandemic or limit the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Just weeks ago, Britain announced it would stop requiring travelers to quarantine in government-designated hotels, removing the last seven countries from the “red list” for coronavirus risk.

That change lifted restrictions on passengers arriving from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

Since then, Mr Javid said the government would continue to reserve a number of rooms in hotels “on standby” in case quarantine requirements need to be reinstated.

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