On December 19, United Kingdom had announced that the new variant of the novel coronavirus was “out of control”.
Amid fears over the highly infectious new mutant strain of the novel coronavirus, several countries have imposed travel bans to the UK and some are imposing lockdowns.
Here is how the world is responding to the new strain of Coronavirus:
- UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that London could be under a lockdown for months, as it will be “very difficult” to keep a highly infectious mutant strain of the novel coronavirus under control until vaccinations are rolled out. The new tighter restrictions will be reviewed on December 30.
- Saudi Arabia has halted all international flights for a week. The ban, which came into effect on Sunday, also applies to entry of passengers to the Kingdom through land and seaports, Gulf News quoted the source as saying.
- All passenger flights from Britain to the Netherlands have been banned until January 1, the Dutch government said.
- One case of the new virus variant has been found in the country.
- Israel said it was barring entry to foreign citizens travelling from Britain, Denmark and South Africa.
- Several European nations, including Italy, Belgium, France and the Netherlands, have banned flights to and fro from the UK.
- In Australia, a new coronavirus outbreak the northern beaches of Sydney involving 83 confirmed cases in the past week triggered multiple inter-state border closures. Australia had prided itself on a tough pandemic response including closing international borders and ordering lockdowns, resulting in a low mortality rate by global standards.
- Britain’s neighbour Ireland is expected to restrict flights and ferries. Eurostar announced it was cancelling trains between London, Brussels and Amsterdam from Monday, but trains on the London-Paris route will continue to operate.
- Scotland also effectively closed the border with England.
- France said Sunday it will halt all travel from Britain for 48 hours from midnight Sunday including journeys “related to goods transport by road, air, sea or rail”.
- Germany will halt all air links with the UK from midnight on Sunday, with the ban initially slated to last until December 31. Cargo flights will be exempt.
- Anyone already in Italy who recently travelled from Britain must be tested for coronavirus, the statement added.
- The new virus strain has been found in one person in Italy who recently returned from Britain, the health ministry said.
- Canada banned all UK flights for 72 hours. Those who had already arrived from Britain on Sunday would be subject to secondary screenings and “advanced measures”.
- All three Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — have halted all passenger flights from the UK. Lithuania will still allow flights to depart for the UK, while Estonia and Latvia have halted those as well.