Travel ban over Brazilian variant precautionary, UK transport minister says

PUBLISHED: Fri, 15 Jan 2021 07:28:16 GMT

LONDON, Jan 15 (Reuters) – A Brazilian variant of the coronavirus is significant enough to justify stopping flights from South America as a precaution, British transport minister Grant Shapps said on Friday, adding it did not mean vaccines would not work.

“As with the variant that we saw in Kent (southern England)or the one in South Africa, it’s significantly enough of interest to us just to take this precautionary approach of stopping all those flights from Brazil (and) South America,” Shapps told Sky News.

“Our scientists aren’t saying that the vaccine won’t work against it… (but) we do not want to be tripping up at this last moment (of vaccine rollout) which is why I took the decision as an extra precaution to ban those flights.” (Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Michael Holden)

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