December 21, 2020
The Netherlands was the first to ban the flights, after detecting a case that revealed to be from the same strain of coronavirus found in the United Kingdom.
Germany, Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Peru, Argentina and Chile suspended flights with the United Kingdom after the appearance of a new variant of Covid-19 that is spreading faster than the original.
Since the British authorities announced on Saturday the discovery of a new strain of coronavirus that would be the cause of the rapid expansion of the second wave of infections, many countries in the world have decided to close borders to this European country.
London, the country’s capital is under new and more stringent restrictions, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed that the new strain may be up to 70% more transmittable than the old one, but that there is no indication that mortality is increasing or that is resistant to current treatments or vaccine.
Italy detected a contagion of coronavirus with the United Kingdom variety, Israel prohibited the entry of visitors from the United Kingdom, Denmark and South Africa due to a new strain of coronavirus. Germany, Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Argentina and Chile suspended flights with the United Kingdom.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that it is in “close contact” with the British health authorities to follow up on the investigation, while the organization’s expert Maria Van Kerkhove told the BBC that cases of the new variant in Denmark and Australia.
Argentina and Chile suspended flights from the UK from Tuesday, and anyone who had been to Britain in the last two weeks would be barred from entering thereafter.
More radical, the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, said that anyone who has been in Britain or South Africa in the last 30 days will not be allowed to enter the country.
Peru and Colombia also suspended direct flights or flights with a stopover in the United Kingdom as a “preventive measure” due to the new variant of covid-19, starting this Monday.
In the European Union, France, closed its border with the United Kingdom for 48 hours, Germany, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, Austria, Portugal, Sweden and Belgium, have announced temporary bans on flights from the United Kingdom, with some exceptions for freight traffic.
The Dutch authorities said they will work with other member countries of the European Union to “explore the possibilities of further limiting the risk of the new strain of virus arriving from the UK”, with Spain also calling for a “coordinated response”, which should be finalized on Monday.
The Eurotunel train service was suspended causing large crowds at St. Pancras, Kings Cross, Paddington, Euston and other stations in London on Saturday night by people trying to leave the city.
Bulgaria suspended flights from the UK, until January 31, Turkey and Switzerland as well.
Canada suspended flights for 72 hours from 5:00 a.m. on Monday. Saudi Arabia suspended all international flights for a week due to the pandemic.
Hong Kong, Israel, Iran, Croatia, Morocco and Kuwait also joined the same measures.
“I think this is a situation that is going to make things a lot worse,” said England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty.