22 December 2020 18:30
More than 40 countries have banned UK arrivals because of concerns about the spread of a new variant of coronavirus. Many European countries have imposed bans on flights from the UK in a bid to prevent a mutant strain of Covid-19 from reaching their shores. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the fast-moving new variant of the virus that is 70 per cent more transmissible than existing strains appears to be driving the rapid spread of new infections in London and southern England. France (all passenger and cargo traffic travelling in the air and through the English Channel tunnel from Britain banned until midnight Tuesday) The Dutch ban came into effect on Sunday morning and the government said it was reacting to tougher measures imposed in London and surrounding areas on Saturday by Mr Johnson. Belgium's prime minister Alexander de Croo issued a ban for at least 24 hours while the situation was assessed, and the German government said on Sunday it was planning to restrict travel to and from Britain.
The German government said all UK flights, with the exception of cargo flights, would no longer be allowed to land in the country due to the "coronavirus mutation".It added that the ban will be reviewed by December 31. Ireland's transport minister confirmed his country would be imposing a 48-hour ban on travel from Britain to Ireland. Austria and the Czech Republic were also imposing new measures against UK flights with Prague announcing stricter quarantine rules with all people arriving in the country having spent at least 24 hours in UK territory required to self-isolate. Canada is the latest country to ban UK flights amid fears about the spread of the new mutant strain of coronavirus. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said all flights from the UK would be banned from entering the country for 72 hours from midnight on Sunday.
France has banned all travel from the UK for 48 hours from midnight on Sunday. Poland is also due to halt flights from midnight on Monday, though it is not yet known how long the ban will be in place. Denmark said all flights from Great Britain would be halted for 48 hours from Monday. Ireland's transport minister Eamon Ryan said ferries will continue to operate for freight between Britain and Ireland. A mutant strain of coronavirus sweeping across London and the south east of England has prompted the EU nations to start restricting inbound flights from the UK.
The new coronavirus strain sweeping across London and the south east of England has prompted the EU nations to start restricting inbound flights from the UK. A Manchester Airport spokesman said: "Due to recent developments with the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of countries have imposed restrictions on flights arriving from the UK. Quarantine rules are in place, but the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) explains: "In practice, tourists arriving from outside the region's 'travel bubble' (which includes Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Montserrat, Anguilla and British Virgin Islands, together with Barbados) with pre-booked hotel accommodation from the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's Approved List will normally be permitted to travel to their accommodation after screening and be allowed to move around the country providing they adhere to local social distancing measures Passengers set to fly from John Lennon Airport have been urged to contact their airlines after several countries banned flights from the UK. France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands have all said they will halt flights arriving from the UK in a bid to stop the new highly infectious strain of coronavirus from reaching their shores. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said from midnight Sunday, Canada was putting a 72-hour stop on flights from the UK. A spokesperson said: "These latest restrictions imposed by certain countries have now resulted in the cancellation of three departures today to Sofia, Dublin and Bucharest. Passengers are advised to contact their airline for the latest information regarding flights today and over the coming days." The Irish Government said on Sunday that it was imposing a 48-hour ban on flights from Britain to Ireland.