Flights from South Africa have been banned by five countries following news of the discovery of a new variant of coronavirus which has sparked high cases.
Germany, Turkey, Israel, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia are among the countries that have banned flights from South Africa.
Germany was one of the first nations to announce the ban with officials justifying it.
“Because of the reported coronavirus mutation, the federal government intends to restrict travel options between Germany and Great Britain and South Africa,” said Government Spokesperson Martina Fietz.
Israel also banned the flights saying that its citizens returning from South Africa would be required to undergo a 30-day mandatory quarantine on their return.
The ban is to prevent the spread of the new variant of Covid-19 as South African scientists get support from the World Health Organization to investigate it.
The new variant was first found in the Eastern Cape province and has since spread to the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
Known as 501.V2 the variant was identified by a genomics team led by the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform.
This “501.V2 variant” of the virus has been identified by South African researchers and reported to the World Health Organization, health minister, Zwelini Mkhize, said in a statement.