Pakistan, Kenya, Bangladesh and the Philippines have been added to England’s coronavirus “red list”.
The move, which will take effect from 4am on Friday, 9 April, is in response to concerns about new variants of COVID-19, like those first detected in South Africa and Brazil.
It means international visitors who have departed from or transited through those nations in the previous 10 days will be barred from entering.
British and Irish citizens and those with residence rights in the UK will be allowed to enter, but will have to arrive at a designated port and then pay to stay in a government-approved quarantine hotel for 10 days.
The Department for Transport said: “The government has made it consistently clear it will take decisive action if necessary to contain the virus and has added these destinations to the red list to protect public health.”
The decision is based on advice from the government-funded Joint Biosecurity Centre.
According to the DfT, the data shows that the majority of cases of the South Africa variant detected in England have been linked to international travel and very few are thought to have come from Europe.
The additions mean a total of 39 countries are now on the “red list”. They are:
• Cape Verde
• Democratic Republic of the Congo
• French Guiana
• The Philippines
• South Africa
• United Arab Emirates