The UK government has announced plans to extend its current ban on arrivals from South Africa, to cover neighbouring countries in the region.

The move will apply to travellers who have been in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, the Seychelles and Mauritius in the last ten days.

It take effect from 0400 on Saturday January 9 for arrivals into England, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also expected to follow suit.

Botswana, the Seychelles and Mauritius had previously been on the UK’s travel corridor list (allowing travel to the UK without the requirement to self-isolate), but will now be removed from the list.

A ban on travel from South Africa to the UK has been in place since December 23, 2020, in an attempt to stop the spread of a new Covid-19 variant discovered in the country, and the extension of the restrictions will initially be in place for two weeks to allow the UK government to “review the scientific data and alternative ways to protect the UK and our partners in Africa”.

The ban will not apply to British and Irish Nationals, longer-term visa holders and permanent residents, who will be able to enter but will be required to self-isolate for ten days on arrival, along with their household.

Note also that arrivals under the above exemptions will not be eligible for early exit from self-isolation through the Test and Release scheme.

In other news Israel and Jerusalem have been removed from the travel corridor list, following data “showing a significant increase in confirmed cases”.