Several 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. In India, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and his Rajasthan counterpart have asked the Narendra Modi-led government to ban all flights from the UK immediately given the emergence of a mutated variant of the coronavirus there.
Take a look at the list of countries that have stopped flights from the UK so far:
Netherlands: The Netherlands became the first major European country to announce a ban on flights. All passenger flights from Britain to the Netherlands have been banned until January 1, the Dutch government said. One case of the new strain has been found in the country, the health ministry added.
India: Ministry of Civil Aviation has temporarily suspended all flights originating from the UK to India starting December 23. The flight ban will be in place till December 31, 11.59 PM. All passengers coming to India from the UK will be subject to RT-PCR tests and will have to undergo mandatory 7 days quarantine. Holding an emergency meeting, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the government had done everything that was important to handle the COVID-19 situation in the last one 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 passengers’ entry to the Kingdom through land and seaports, Gulf News quoted the source as saying. However, foreign flights 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 dealing 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 except for 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.
Hong Kong: The former British colony is banning all flights arriving from the United Kingdom from midnight. The quarantine of passengers who arrived from Britain in the last fortnight is being extended. All international arrivals must already spend 14 days in isolation in a hotel.
Turkey: Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that flights from Britain, Denmark – where nine cases of the new strain have been detected — the Netherlands, and South Africa would be suspended.
Iran: Iran’s health ministry has ordered flights from Britain suspended for two weeks, state news agency IRNA reported.
Israel: Israel said it was barring entry to foreign citizens traveling from Britain, Denmark, and South Africa. A joint statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office and the health ministry also announced tough rules for Israelis returning home from those nations, saying that they would be confined in quarantine centers.
Argentina: Argentina has banned flights from the UK, the government said in a statement Sunday. It said the last flight from Britain would arrive in the country on Monday.