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Several European countries ban travel from UK after emergence of new strain of Covid-19

Several European countries ban travel from UK after emergence of new strain of Covid-19

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London [UK], December 20 (ANI): A growing number of countries on Sunday halted flights from the UK following the discovery of a new variant of Covid-19, which is said to spread faster than other versions of the virus.
CNN reported that the Netherlands government is banning all passenger flights coming from the UK from Sunday morning until the New Year in order to minimise the risk of the new strain from spreading in the country as much as possible, according to a press release.
The Dutch government also said the same variant of the virus had been detected in the country in a sample from a case from early December, adding that it is conducting further investigations to determine if there are any other related cases.
Meanwhile, Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that the country will block travellers from the UK for 24 hours on Monday as a 'precautionary measure', although the ban could be extended if required.
"As a precautionary measure, we have decided to stop flights from the UK from midnight for a period of 24 hours, and just as importantly for our country, to do the same for the Eurostar (train) -- because that's actually the main way that people from the UK come into our country," he said.
According to CNN, Italy Foreign Affairs Minister Luigi Di Malo on Sunday informed that the country will also suspend flights to and from the UK citing the new strain of the coronavirus, although he did not provide more details.
The Czech Republic imposed a mandatory 10-day quarantine on anyone arriving from the UK starting Sunday in response to the new coronavirus strain identified there, the Foreign Ministry announced.
The new strain of Covid-19 is "out of control", said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Sunday.
"The only way you can do that is by restricting social contacts and essentially, especially in Tier 4 areas, everybody needs to behave as if they may well have the virus and that is the way that we can get it under control and keep people safe," he added.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced new tier-4 COVID-19 restrictions in parts of England, including London, due to the rapid spread of a new variant of coronavirus, limiting the celebrations.
"We will introduce new restrictions in the most affected areas, specifically...London, the Southeast and East of England, which are currently in tier 3. These areas will enter new tier 4, which will be broadly equivalent to national restrictions, which were placed in England in November," Johnson said in an address to the nation as quoted by Sputnik.
According to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University, the UK's tally of infections stands at 2,010,121, along with 67,177 deaths. (ANI)

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