The UK has banned all arrivals from Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo from Friday to stop the spread of the South Africa variant of Covid-19, Grant Shapps, the transport minister, says.
“All passengers from these countries except British and Irish Nationals and third country nationals with residents rights will be denied entry,” he said in a tweet.
“We are continuing to monitor Covid-19 rates and new strains of the virus across the globe, this alongside the suspension of travel corridors and pre-departure testing will help protect our borders,” he added.
Earlier this month passengers from 11 other southern African countries were banned from entering the UK for similar reasons.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on Thursday said the continent’s Covid-19 death rate now stands at 2.5%, higher than the global average of 2.2%.
It listed Democratic Republic of Congo among 21 African nations with a death rate above 3%.
The authorities in Tanzania have downplayed the extent of the epidemic in the country and have not been releasing any data on infections or deaths.
In June last year, the Tanzanian President John Magufuli declared that the country was “coronavirus-free” thanks to prayers by citizens.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern over the country’s strategy on Covid-19.
The authorities from Tanzania or the DR Congo have not yet commented on the development.