The European Union has said it wants to stop air travel from southern Africa following the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that she “proposes, in close coordination with the member states, to activate the emergency brake to stop air travel from the southern African region”.
A new Covid-19 variant has been detected in southern Africa, which scientists say is a concern because of the high number of mutations.
Europe is currently in the midst of a fourth wave of the virus, with many EU countries reimposing new restrictions.
Currently identified as B.1.1.529, the new variant has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong in travellers from South Africa.
The World Health Organisation is meeting today to discuss and assess the new variant.
IMAGE – “Dáil Éireann – Election of Taoiseach” by House of the Oireachtas (CCBY2.0)