Guatemala to restrict southern African travelers due to new COVID variant, says president

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemala will impose restrictions on visitors from some south African nations after a new fast-spreading coronavirus variant discovered on the continent, President Alejandro Giammattei said on Friday.

Global authorities have reacted with alarm to the new variant detected in South Africa, with the European Union and Britain among those tightening border controls as researchers seek to find out if the mutation was vaccine-resistant.

"Yesterday we received the report of a new variant, for which we have already given the order for restrictions of people coming from those countries, which is not many," the president told media.

Guatemala would limit entry to travelers from Lesotho, Mozambique and South Africa, the president said, although the Guatemalan Immigration Institute said it is still waiting to receive the presidential order.

(Reporting by Sofia Menchu in Guatemala City; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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