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Germany to ban travellers from Britain, Portugal amid fears of more contagious virus variants

·1 min read

BRUSSELS, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Germany is preparing entry bans for travellers from Britain, Portugal, Brazil and South Africa to limit the spread of the more contagious variants of the coronavirus raging in these countries, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Thursday.

"To protect our population, there should be no entry from regions where these variants of the virus are rampant," he said on the fringes of a virtual meeting with his EU counterparts.

Belgium has already barred residents from taking vacations abroad until March to fight the spread of the more infectious virus, but other European Union members reject radical measures such as travel or entry bans.

Seehofer vowed Germany would plough ahead with its plans even if the EU as a whole didn't agree such measures.

"We cannot expect to have a European solution that meets our expectations any time soon, so we are preparing national measures," he said.

The transport of goods and medical supplies will not be affected by the restrictions that are under discussion in the government, according to Seehofer. (Reporting by Sabine Siebold Editing by Alexandra Hudson)