Several nations place ban on UK flights over new Covid-19 variant

21 December 2020 (Last Updated December 22nd, 2020 04:25)

Several countries around the world have placed a ban on all flights from and to Great Britain over concerns about the new ‘more infectious’ variant of Covid-19.

Several nations place ban on UK flights over new Covid-19 variant
Several countries suspend flights from the UK over concerns about the new Covid-19 variant. Credit: jshyun via flickr.

Several countries around the world have placed a ban on all flights from and to Great Britain over concerns about the new ‘more infectious’ variant of Covid-19.

The travel restrictions follow a new Tier 4 ‘Stay at Home’ alert level announced by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in large parts of south-east England.

As part of the tougher measures intended to protect the NHS and save lives, people in tier 4 areas will not be permitted to travel abroad.

According to preliminary modelling data, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) believes the new virus variant ‘VUI – 202012/01’ identified in the UK can spread more easily than the original version.

In a statement, Johnson said: “There’s no evidence to suggest it is more lethal or causes more severe illness.”

The World Health Organisation is working closely with the UK over the new mutation, which was seen in the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia.

So far, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Romania, Belgium, France, Germany, Croatia, Switzerland, Ireland and Bulgaria, as well as the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are among the European countries that have suspended flights.

While Sweden is yet to reveal its decision, the Czech Republic has ‘stricter quarantine measures’ in place for those arriving from the UK.

In addition, some countries in North America, South America and Central American nation El Salvador have imposed UK flight suspensions in response to new Covid-19 virus variant.

The Government of Canada has suspended flights from the UK for 72 hours to curb the spread.

Argentina, Colombia and Chile in South America have also issued statements on UK flight halts.

Moreover, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Morocco have also joined the growing list to impose similar restrictions.

Some of the countries are also considering closing entry to flights from Denmark and South Africa.

Meanwhile, the Indian Government has followed suit and decided to stop UK flights until 31 December.