The Netherlands, Belgium and Italy suspend flights with the United Kingdom for fear of new strain

The Netherlands, Belgium and Italy suspend flights with the United Kingdom for fear of new strain
The Netherlands, Belgium and Italy suspend flights with the United Kingdom for fear of new strain

  • The ban on traveling to that country will last at least until January 1
  • Boris Johnson shuts down London to halt the advance of rapidly spreading new strain of virus
  • The new strain of coronavirus is three to nine times more infectious

Air traffic between the Netherlands and the United Kingdom has been suspended from this Sunday to at least January 1, for fear of the new strain of coronavirus detected in England.

This was reported by the Dutch Ministry of Health in a statement in which it also recognised that a case of the new strain was detected in the Netherlands. It’s Institute of Public Health asked the ministry to control the movement of passengers from the British Isles to avoid further contagion. However, for the moment, they have not stopped the entry of travellers by train, car or boat.

The Dutch government also asked its citizens not “to travel abroad unless strictly necessary” and said that it will coordinate with the rest of European countries to restrict “imports of the virus” from the United Kingdom.

“The cabinet is closely monitoring the development of the Covid-19 virus abroad and is investigating the possibilities of additional measures for other means of transport,” says the statement, adding: “In the coming days, in close collaboration with other EU member states, the cabinet will look into the possibilities of further restricting imports of the virus from the UK. ‘

Belgium was the second country to adopt similar measures, banning train travel between its territory and the United Kingdom from midnight this Sunday for at least 24 hours, while further analysis is carried out “on the new variant.

The German authorities also acknowledged that they are considering taking similar measures, and an official told the DPA agency that the option of suspending flights with the United Kingdom is a “serious” possibility.

The Italian Government also joined the travel ban, according to the Italian Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, who published on his social network that the decision has already been communicated to the British authorities. “As a government we have a duty to protect Italians and for that reason, after having notified the English government, we are about to sign a measure with the Minister of Health to suspend flights with Great Britain,” explained Di Maio.

The World Health Organization announced that it is in “close contact” with the United Kingdom regarding the new mutation and asked the rest of the countries to be vigilant.

The new coronavirus strain, known as VUI-202012/01, is believed to spread more rapidly than the original strain, which would be, and is believed to be, the reason for the rapid increase in infection rates in south-east England.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Saturday that the new strain could be “up to 70% more transmittable.” “While we are fairly confident that the variant is transmitted faster, there is no evidence to suggest that it is more lethal or causes more serious disease,” he said, noting that “there is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine will be less effective against the new variant”.


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