BRUSSELS: European Union states have agreed to suspend travel from southern Africa after the detection of a new COVID-19 variant, the presidency of the EU said on Friday.
A committee of health experts from all 27 EU states "agreed on the need to activate the emergency break & impose temporary restriction on all travel into EU from southern Africa", the Slovenian presidency of the EU said on Twitter.
Restrictions will apply to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, European Commission spokesperson Eric Mamer said on Twitter.
"Tests, quarantine and contact tracing for incoming passengers are important," he wrote.
The new coronavirus variant, first detected in South Africa, has caused global alarm as researchers seek to find out if it is vaccine-resistant.