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Nations close borders to UK as new Covid-19 variant spreads

Nations close borders to UK as new Covid-19 variant spreads

A number of nations around the world have closed their borders to travellers from the UK after the detection of a new strain of Covid-19.

The variant is believed to be up to 70 per cent more infections than existing strains, leading to a series of travel bans.

Germany, France, Belgium, Turkey and Italy are among those to suspend flights from the UK, while Hong Kong will follow today.

Outbound train services through the Channel Tunnel have been halted, while Canada is also blocking UK flights.

European Union officials are expected to meet later today to discuss a co-ordinated response to the situation.

At the same time, France has closed its land border with the UK for 48 hours.


The move, announced last night, means no lorries or ferry passengers will be able to sail from the port of Dover.

Bulgaria suspended flights to and from the UK at midnight.

Unlike the short-term measures in many other nations, its ban lasts until January 31st.

Israel, Iran, Croatia, Argentina, Chile, Morocco and Kuwait are among the other destinations to have brought in restrictions on UK travel.

Saudi Arabia has suspended all international flights for one week because of the pandemic.

Health secretary, Matt Hancock, explained the new variant had spread quickly in London and south-east England.

However, health officials say there is no evidence that it is more deadly or would react differently to vaccines.

Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images