Countries around the world have started closing their borders to the United Kingdom to prevent the spread of a rapidly transmittable strain of coronavirus which was detected on UK shores and could be 70 percent more infectious.
It began with the Netherlands, which said on Sunday that it would stop flights from Britain because of the new strain. Now, more than 30 countries have followed suit, with some travel bans set to last until the end of January.
In addition to European nations, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, India, Israel, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are among those who have suspended travel to and from the UK.
France has added sea and rail links to its travel restrictions that will initially last 48 hours. Eurostar trains between London, Brussels and Amsterdam were also halted from Monday.
European Union member states are set to meet in Brussels later on Monday to discuss a coordinated response to the situation.So far, the new strain has also been detected in the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia and South Africa.
On Saturday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Tier 4 lockdowns, putting the nation under severe restrictions until the end of 2020. Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that the new variant of the virus, which may be up to 70 percent more transmissible, is “getting out of control.”
The new variant has spread quickly in London and the south-east of England. However, health officials say there is no evidence that it is more deadly or would react differently to vaccines.
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