BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia will ban flights from Brazil effective Friday over concerns of a variant of the coronavirus that is circulating in that country.
Colombia President Ivan Duque on Wednesday announced the 30-day measure. No flights will take off from Colombia to Brazil either.
In addition, anyone who arrived from Brazil to Colombia between Jan. 18 and Wednesday will have to quarantine for 14 days.
The Brazil variant was first identified in four travelers who were tested at an airport outside Tokyo. It contains mutations that may affect its ability to be recognized by antibodies, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The emergence of variants is linked to ongoing surges since infections give viruses the chance to mutate and spread. It’s another reason experts stress the importance of mask wearing and social distancing.
Colombia has recorded more than 2 million cases and over 52,100 deaths of COVID-19.