Singapore swiftly joined Britain, with the health ministry saying on Friday it would restrict arrivals from South Africa and countries nearby as a precaution.
Japan’s government also decided to tighten border controls for visitors from South Africa and five other African countries, the Jiji news service reported. Its foreign ministry did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment. read more
After easing some of its travel restrictions earlier this month, India’s central government issued an advisory to all states to rigorously test and screen international travellers from South Africa and other “at risk” countries. read more
Asian countries have fared better than those in other regions in containing the pandemic by enforcing strict preventive measures, rigorous testing and strict border controls.
The new variant has a spike protein that is dramatically different to the one in the original coronavirus that COVID-19 vaccines are based on, the UK Health Security Agency added.
Taiwan said travellers from “high-risk” southern African countries will have to go into government-run quarantine facilities for 14 days.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Reuters that New Zealand was well prepared for the new variant. Earlier this week, New Zealand said it would reopen its borders to fully vaccinated international travellers from April 30. read more
Asked whether those plans would have to be delayed due to the new variant, Ardern said the country had “a number of inbuilt measures to act as a layer of protection.”
“All of our planning around COVID, we have built into it the possibility of variants in the future,” Ardern said in an interview for the upcoming Reuters Next conference.