Netherlands bans all flights from South Africa and more in abrupt move to slow spread of new variant

The Dutch government has taken swift action on a new reported coronavirus variant found in southern Africa with all flights blocked from 12:00 PM today.

It joins the UK, Italy, Germany, and Israel in a slew of flight bans for South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Dutch people who are currently in the above countries will have the right to return home but will need to double test and quarantine upon arrival.

Minister for Health Hugo de Jonge announced the new measures today. According to him, there are still two flights en route from southern Africa.

It comes in response to the B.1.1.529 that has been detected, which one expert described to the BBC as being “the worst one we’ve seen so far.”

De Jonge told the press that uncertainty remains about the new variant. “What we need to do now is act as a precaution.”

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Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.

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