European nations have begun to impose travel bans

As the pandemic is changing its mood, European nations have started to impose travel prohibitions on the UK after it reported a more-infectious and "out of control" coronavirus variant.

UK: As the pandemic is changing its mood, European nations have started to impose travel prohibitions on the UK after it reported a more-infectious and “out of control” coronavirus variant.

Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium are all halting flights. 

The measures differ and are initially short-term, but the French rules also hit Channel freight.

A European Unions meeting on Monday morning would discuss a more coordinated response.

The latest variant has spread quickly in London and south-east England.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday introduced a new tier-four level of restrictions for those areas, scrapping a planned relaxation of controls over the Christmas period for millions of people.

Top health officials said that there was no evidence the new variant was more deadly or would react differently to vaccines, but it was proving to be up to 70% more transmissible.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told that the new strain “was out of control. We have made to get it under control”, admitting that this was “a challenging end to frankly an awful year”.

Within hours of the UK announcement on Saturday, the Netherlands stated it would ban all passenger flights from the UK until 1 January.

Later on Sunday, it stated that it would also bar ferry passengers coming from the UK, although freight would continue.

The country on Sunday listed a daily increase of more than 13,000 cases – a new record, despite strict lockdown measures being applied on 14 December.

As Sunday wore on, significant new limitations were imposed by vital European nations.

France halted all travel links, including freight lorries, with the UK for 48 hours of midnight on Sunday (23:00 GMT).

Thousands of lorries move within the countries every day.

In reply to France’s ban, Eurotunnel told it would suspend way to its Folkestone terminal from 22:00 GMT for traffic going to Calais. People hired to travel on Monday can get a refund. Trains would still run from Calais to Folkestone.

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