Guatemala blocks travel from Brazil, UK and South Africa in new COVID measure

A man receives a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, marketed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) as COVISHIELD, in Guatemala City, Guatemala March 10, 2021. REUTERS/Luis Echeverria

GUATEMALA CITY, April 16 (Reuters) - Guatemala will restrict entry to visitors who have recently been to Brazil, the United Kingdom and South Africa in an effort to control a jump in coronavirus cases, President Alejandro Giammattei said on Friday.

The measure will go into effect on Saturday and last through April 30, applying to tourists who have been to those countries within the prior two weeks, Giammattei said in a public address.

He noted that Guatemala had registered 5,813 new COVID-19 infections in the last five days, bringing the total in the Central American country to 210,667 confirmed cases.

"That has triggered our alerts and forces us to have to decree a state of prevention immediately," Giammattei said.

Guatemala had previously enacted strict lockdowns and travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus, which has caused 7,160 deaths in the country of 16 million people.

Reporting by Sofia Menchu, Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Kim Coghill

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