Coronavirus Pandemic

Turkey has banned Britons from entering the country after detecting 15 cases of a new and more contagious variant of the coronavirus in travelers from Britain.

Iran PressAsia: Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Friday that the 15 travelers have been isolated, as have those with whom they were in contact. No other cases of the COVID-19 variant have been detected in nationwide regular screenings.

"The situation is under control," Koca said in a statement. "Entrance to Turkey from the U.K. has been temporarily suspended."

Turkey’s Coronavirus death toll rose by 212 in the last 24 hours, separate health ministry data showed on Friday, bringing total deaths to 21,093 in the country.

The number of new COVID-19 cases stood at 12,203 over the same period to bring total cases to more than 2.22 million since the outbreak struck early last year.

The current lockdown will be lifted at 5 a.m. local time on Monday, although Ankara has also imposed weekday curfews and limited restaurants and cafes to delivery and take-out service.