It is updated that Canada has become the latest country to stop flights from the UK following the invention of a replacement variant of Covid-19, which is claimed by officials to spread faster than others.
The United Kingdom government imposed a Tier 4 lockdown in London and southeastern England because of the new coronavirus variant and tightens restrictions for all of England over the festive period, is "out of control," Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated on Sunday — the same day that the United Kingdom broke its daily coronavirus case record at 35,928 new cases. However, he believes that with medical supplies such as medical masks, disposable gloves, and protective suits, the spread can be controlled significantly.
The ensuing wave of travel bans has to stop UK travelers from much of Europe and other parts of the planet. An option to carry an emergency governmental meeting on Monday also emerged, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a No. 10 spokesperson told CNN. The meeting will specialize in the international movement restrictions, and "in particular the steady flow of freight into and out of the United Kingdom," they said. "More meetings are being organized tonight and tomorrow morning to make sure robust plans are in the schedule."
Canada announced it'll ban most passenger travel from the United Kingdom beginning midnight Sunday for a minimum of 72 hours. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the news during a tweet Sunday night saying it had been being done to 'protect' Canadians across the country.
'Protect' Canadians across the country.
Argentina, Chile, and Colombia from South America have all halted direct flights to and from the UK. Ecuador is considering strengthening measures to control the spread of the virus.
Argentina will just allow another flight from Britain to land at the international airport in Buenos Aires on Monday morning, according to a joint statement published Sunday by the Argentinian Health and Interior Ministries. Later flights have all been suspended.
The Chilean government announced on Twitter that each one flight to and from the United Kingdom is going to be suspended, beginning on Tuesday, which travelers who are to the United Kingdom in the last 14 days would have to self-quarantine.
Colombian President Ivan Duque similarly announced that each one flight between Colombia and therefore the UK are going to be suspended, starting on Monday. Travelers who are to the United Kingdom within the last 14 days also will need to self-quarantine, upon entering Colombia.
On Sunday, France announced it might suspend the visit and from the UK for 48 hours starting in the dark civil time, thanks to the "new health risk," French Prime Minister Jean Castex said. Both the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel subsequently announced closures.
The Republic of Ireland is banning flights from Britain on Monday and Tuesday. "In the interests of Public Health, people in Britain, no matter nationality, shouldn't visit Ireland, by air or by sea," the Irish government announced during a statement. Italy also will suspend flights to and from the United Kingdom, also as banning entry to anyone who has been in Britain within the past fortnight, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Facebook Sunday.
Portugal will allow only Portuguese nationals to arrive on flights from the UK, and that they must have a negative Covid-19 test, consistent with the country's Interior Minister.
Meanwhile, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that Belgium will block travelers from the united kingdom for twenty-four hours on Monday as a "precautionary measure," though the ban might be extended if necessary."As a precautionary measure, we've decided to prevent flights from the United Kingdom from midnight for 24 hours, and even as important for our country, to do an equivalent for the Eurostar (train) -- because that's the most way that folks from the United Kingdom inherit our country," he said, chatting with CNN affiliate VRT's Sunday morning news program "De Zevende Dag."
The Netherlands and Latvia announced longer bans on flights coming from the UK, lasting until the New Year. The Dutch government, which also banned ferry passengers coming back from the United Kingdom, said an equivalent virus variant had been detected within the Netherlands. Estonia also announced a suspension of traffic with the United Kingdom until the top of the year.
A mandatory 10-day quarantine on anyone arriving from the UK starting Sunday was imposed by the Czech Republic.
Further away, Saudi Arabia is suspending all international flights for travelers — as well as entrances through land and seaports — for a week. According to the country's state-owned Anadolu Agency, Turkey suspended flights from the UK, South Africa, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Israel banned incoming flights from Britain, Denmark, and South Africa, and will also bar foreign nationals from those countries from entering the country.
Tough coronavirus restrictions
London and enormous parts of southern and eastern England, where cases are soaring, would enter Tier 4 restrictions, same with the lockdown imposed in Spring -- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday broke the news, just a few days after reiterating his pledge to relax restrictions over the Christmas period.
Johnson stressed that there'll be no possibility for household mixing over Christmas in Tier 4 areas under the toughest restrictions. Mixing will now be allowed only on Christmas in areas under lower alert levels in England, Scotland and Wales.
Station in London.
The government's scientific advisory group for Covid-19 has also warned the new variation may be a "real cause for concern," and involved urgent action. On Twitter, Jeremy Farrar said, "Research is ongoing to know more, but acting urgently now's critical. Every part of the UK & globally should be concerned. The same with many countries, the situation is fragile."
Londoners flee capital following new restrictions
When asked about the time frame of the Tier 4 restrictions, which effectively put parts of the United Kingdom back to the lockdown seen in Spring, Hancock said Sunday: "Given what proportion faster this new variant spreads, it's getting to be very difficult to stay it in check until we have the vaccine unrolled."
Hancock added what mattered "is that folks not only follow [the new Tier 4 measures] but everybody during a Tier 4 area act as if you've got the virus to stop spreading it to other people. (...) We just know that this new variant, you'll catch it more easily from a smaller amount of the virus being present."
"All of the various measures we've in, we'd like more of them to control the spread of the new variant than we did to regulate the spread of the old variant," he added, in response as to if current measures to guard people, like the utilization of facemasks and therefore the 2-meter rule (6.5 feet), was enough to guard people against the new variation.
Still, Londoners piled on to trains and motorways on Saturday night as they rushed to go away the capital before new restrictions announced by Johnson.
By 7 p.m. on Saturday, there have been no free seats on trains leaving London from several stations within the capital, PA Media reported. Passengers complained about not having the ability to socially distance themselves within the train carriages.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan called the introduction of the restrictions "devastating" in an interview with the BBC, adding that scenes at London train stations "was an immediate consequence of the chaotic way the announcement was made, and therefore the late stage it had been made."
"I understand why people want to return to ascertain their mums, dads, elderly relations, but I feel it's wrong," he said.
Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, accused Johnson of "gross negligence" in failing to act earlier. Starmer said Labour supported the newest coronavirus restrictions but criticized the PM for waiting until the "11th hour" to require a choice.
"It was blatantly obvious last week that the Prime Minister's plan for a free-for-all over Christmas was a risk too far," Starmer told a web news conference.
This write has been updated to reflect that Canada is only banning flights from the United Kingdom. Canada doesn't have a ban on flights flying to the United Kingdom.