The UK government has updated its red list after growing concerns over a new Covid-19 variant, found in South Africa. 

The variant appears to be spreading quickly, according to scientists, and could be "very serious".

The updated red list comes into force at midday on Friday November 26 and there is a temporary ban on all direct commercial and private flights from the affected countries to allow the government to set up the quarantine hotels. 

The ban will remain in place until 4am Sunday November 28.

In addition, anyone who has been in these countries and arrive in England between midday on Friday and 4am on Sunday will have to quarantine at home or other suitable accommodation. 

Those who have been in the six countries within the last 10 days, must quarantine at home for 10 days and take NHS PCR tests on day two and day eight, even if they already have a lateral flow test booked.

Which countries are on the red list?

  • South Africa
  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Namibia
  • Zimbabwe