A number of European countries have banned flights from the UK as the British government warned that the potent new strain of the virus was “out of control” and imposed a stringent new stay-at-home lockdown from Sunday.
Netherlands: Netherland became the first major European country to announce a ban on flights. It has suspended all from the UK for at least the rest of the year.
Canada: Canada has stopped all the commercial passengers and private flights to the United Kingdom for 72 hours, amid fears of a highly infectious new mutant strain of the novel coronavirus.
Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia has halted all international flights for a week. The ban, which came into effect on Sunday, also applies to the entry of passengers to the Kingdom through land and seaports, Gulf News quoted the source as saying. However, foreign flights that are currently in the Saudi territory will be exempt and will be allowed to leave, the source said.
France: France banned all travel from the UK for 48 hours from midnight Sunday. The French statement said the short two-day period would buy authorities time to find a common doctrine on how to deal with the threat. It specified that flows of people or transport to the UK are not affected.
Germany: The German government also banned flights coming from Britain in reaction to the new coronavirus strain. The transportation ministry said all UK.flights with the exception of cargo flights were no longer allowed to land in Germany starting at midnight Sunday. It didn’t immediately say how long the flight ban would last, but news agency DPA reported it would be in place at least until Dec. 31.
Italy: Italy’s health minister, Roberto Speranza, said an order signed Sunday blocks flights from Britain and prohibits entry into Italy by anyone who has been in the UK in the last 14 days. The order bans plane travel until Jan. 6.
Belgium: Belgium issued a flight ban for 24 hours starting at midnight and also halted train links to Britain, including the Eurostar
Austria: Austria said it would halt flights from the U.K. but did not exactly specify when that would take place.
Ireland: Britain’s neighbor Ireland has also restricted flights from the UK for 48 hours. “The Minister for Transport and the Minister for Health had detailed discussions on Sunday and announced that in the interests of Public Health, people in Britain, regardless of nationality, should not travel to Ireland, by air or by sea,” the Irish Government said in a statement.
Bulgaria: Similarly, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boiko Borissov after a meeting with Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva, Transport Minister Rossen Zhelyazkov, and Health Minister Kostadin Angelov decided to suspend all flights between Bulgaria and the UK from December 21 and January 31
Morocco: Morocco suspended air travel with the UK last night. However, it allowed some flights to resume linking tourist hubs Agadir and Marrakech with London, in a bid to save its hard-hit tourism sector, reported Reuters.