US, Canada restrict travel from southern Africa as new variant sparks concern

People head towards the Regal Airport Hotel at Chek Lap Kok airport in Hong Kong on November 26, 2021, where a new Covid-19 variant deemed a 'major threat' was detected in a traveller from South Africa and who has since passed it on to a local man whilst in quarantine. PHOTO/AFP

What you need to know:

  • The variant is of "serious concern" and had been blamed for a surge in infection numbers, authorities in South Africa said. 

The United States, Brazil, Canada, and Saudi Arabia became the latest countries Friday to restrict travel from southern Africa, where a new Covid strain labelled a "variant of concern" has been discovered in a potentially heavy blow to the world's efforts to end the coronavirus pandemic.

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