Indonesia issues UK travel ban over coronavirus variant

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JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia has banned travellers from Britain and tightened the rules for those arriving from Europe and Australia to try to limit the spread of a new coronavirus variant, a circular issued by the country's COVID-19 task force this week says.

Foreigners arriving from Britain, where a coronavirus variant is spreading rapidly, would not be allowed entrance, the circular said.

Travellers from Europe and Australia must bring a negative swab test result, be retested upon arrival and, even if that test is negative, quarantine for five days.

Doni Monardo, the head of the task force, told a radio talkshow on Thursday the new rules for Europe and Australia followed an indication the virus variant was spreading there.

The circular is effective until Jan. 8.

Indonesia has the worst coronavirus outbreak in Southeast Asia, with a total of 692,838 cases and 20,589 deaths so far.

(Reporting by Maikel Jefriando and Gayatri Suroyo; editing by Barbara Lewis)