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UK Proscribes Commercial, Private Flights From Ethiopia

March 20 , 2021

Aviation authorities in the United Kingdom have barred Ethiopian Airlines from conducting commercial flights to England for an unspecified amount of time. Ethiopia is among the four countries added to England's red list in an effort to protect COVID-19 vaccination programmes against what the UK government calls "variants of concern." The measure announced last week prohibits visitors from Ethiopia, Somalia, Qatar and Oman from entering England. The ban includes all commercial and private flights traveling from these countries, while cargo flights are permitted to continue. The ban also applies to visitors who have departed from or transited through any of these countries in the 10 days preceding March 19, 2021. Ethiopian operates a daily commercial flight to London's Heathrow Airport. Individuals with residence rights, including long-term visa holders, are allowed to enter the country but only under the condition that they spend 10 days in a government-approved quarantine facility upon arrival. Health authorities hope to reduce the risk of new COVID-19 variants, such as those recently identified in Brazil and South Africa, from entering the UK, which has provided over 24 million vaccinations so far. Two countries, Portugal and Mauritius, have been removed from the red list after the UK government decided that the risk of importing a "variant of concern" from these places is reduced. Senior managers at Ethiopian Airlines were not available for comment.   EDITORS NOTE: Headline has been updated on 22 March, 2021


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