The head of the agency leading Africa's response to the coronavirus pandemic says imposing restrictions such as banning flights is unlikely to reduce the spread of the new variant.
"The restrictions imposed always make it difficult to co-ordinate a response," Dr John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, tells BBC Newsday.
"It doesn't help... it has never helped reduce the spread of any variant across the world," he says, referring to the decision by the UK to suspend flights from six southern African countries.
He suggests abiding by public health measures such as wearing masks, especially at gatherings during the winter festivities, and washing hands.
"Avoid crowds and implement the basic public health and social measures that are effective against all variants. I think that is what we should be promoting."