South Africans wait anxiously for clarity on travel ban, new COVID strain

These countries have imposed travel restrictions on South Africa and neighbouring African countries hours after South African scientists confirmed 22 patients infected by the b.1.1529 variant in the past few days.

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JOHANNESBURG - South Africans who have made plans to travel to or who are expecting family from the UK, Israel, Germany or Italy - are waiting anxiously to see if government will be able to give more clarity about the new COVID-19 variant detected here at home.

These countries have imposed travel restrictions on South Africa and neighbouring African countries hours after South African scientists confirmed 22 patients infected by the b.1.1529 variant in the past few days.

Not much is known about the new variant and government is calling for calm while European countries react with caution restricting movement in and out of their borders.

"Frustrating, confusing, to rushed and very thin" said Monyela.

International Relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela said government is trying its best to ask the UK to meet with our scientists to map out what they know about the new variant so far.

Infectious disease specialist Richards Lessells said not much is known so far.

"This virus is still evolving and still finding ways to spread in the population and that's a concern any stage in this pandemic".

The business sector has shared its concerns that the travel bans will have a huge impact on the economy which is already on its knees.

READ: WHO says COVID-19 strain discovered in SA is a “variant of concern”