Rail Services halted.

Rail Services halted.

21-12-2020Reuters/Andy Rain

Eleven European countries have now banned flights from the United Kingdom because of a new strain of coronavirus that could be 70 percent more contagious than the original. So far Spain has not closed out UK flights.

The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Italy have all closed their airports to passengers from the UK.

"The UK has sounded the alarm about a new form of Covid that could be the result of a mutation in the virus,” Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Luigi di Maio said on Facebook. “As a Government we have a duty to protect Italians.”

Canada has also announced a ban on British flights for 72 hours from Monday and Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Chile are also restricting air traffic with the United Kingdom.

Scotland has imposed a ban on travel to the rest of the United Kingdom.

British Health Minister Matt Hancock has acknowledged that the new strain of coronavirus is "out of control" in London and the Southeast of England.

A 2 week lockdown was implemented in the affected areas to try to stem the spread of the new virus, but cases have already been confirmed in other parts of the UK and in Denmark, the Netherlands, South Africa and Australia.

Planes carrying medical personnel, freight or mail, or those being used to repatriate British nationals will still be allowed to land at European destinations.

The British Foreign Office is advising all travellers to check its website for the latest travel information.

Passengers who are due to fly to European destinations this week are advised to double-check the latest situation with their airline before leaving home.

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