Like the variant found in South Africa, the one exported from Brazil to Japan also carries a mutation that may weaken the efficacy of vaccines. This same mutation has also been identified in the other coronavirus variant recently discovered in Brazil.
Experts have cautioned, however, that it would be very difficult for new variants of the coronavirus to evade vaccines entirely.
The British ban is set to come into effect on Friday at 4 a.m., the transportation secretary Grant Shapps said on Twitter. “Travel from Portugal to the U.K. will also be suspended given its strong travel links with Brazil,” Mr. Shapps added, although truck drivers transporting essential goods from Portugal will be exempted.
Britain has already banned flights from South Africa. Brazil banned flights from Britain on Christmas Day.