London: Several European countries placed new restrictions on travel to and from the United Kingdom to make sure that a new strain of coronavirus sweeping across southern England does not establish a strong foothold on the continent.
The Netherlands on Sunday banned flights from the UK for at least the rest of the year while Belgium issued a flight ban for 24 hours starting at midnight and also halted train links to Britain, including the Eurostar.
“An infectious mutation of the COVID-19 virus is circulating in the United Kingdom. It is said to spread more easily and faster and is more difficult to detect,” the Dutch health ministry said in a statement.
The Dutch public health body, the RIVM, therefore “recommends any introduction of this virus strain from the UK be limited as much as possible by limiting and/or controlling passenger movements”.
The ministry said a case study in the Netherlands “at the beginning of December revealed a virus with the variant described” in the UK.