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New Covid-19 variant prompts many countries to stop travel from the UK

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: geograph

A new strain of Covid-19 quickly spreading in southern England has prompted a number of countries to ban travel from the United Kingdom while other nations are mulling similar restrictions.

The new coronavirus variant is said to spread more quickly than others. British PM Boris Johnson placed London and southeastern England on a Tier 4 lockdown. He announced that both Christmas shopping and holiday gatherings are cancelled. Yesterday, the UK reported a record high of daily Covid-19 cases with 35,928 new cases.

“The spread is being driven by the new variant of the virus… It appears to spread more easily and may be up to 70% more transmissible than the earlier strain… This is now spreading very fast. It is with a very heavy heart that I say we cannot continue with Christmas as planned.”

So far, Thailand has not announced travel restrictions from the UK. All international arrivals still must go through a mandatory 14 day quarantine before travelling in Thailand.

Here’s some of the countries that have set travel restrictions on UK travellers so far.

Canada, Argentina, Chile and Colombia, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Bulgaria and Switzerland.

  • Canada is banning passenger travel from the UK for at least 72 hours.
  • Argentina, Chile and Colombia have suspended direct flights from the UK.
  • France is suspending travel from the UK for 48 hours while officials come up with a plan.
  • Germany banned all flights from Britain except for cargo flights.
  • The Netherlands banned flights from the UK for the rest of the year.
  • Ireland issued a 48 hour flight ban.
  • Italy announced flights from the UK would be banned until January 6.
  • Belgium announced a 24 hour travel ban from the UK as a “precautionary measure.”

SOURCES: CNN | Associated Press


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  1. Avatar


    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    On average, two new SARS2 mutations are found every month.

    There are three possible outcomes from these mutations:

    1) The virus mutates into a more deadly form
    2) The virulence stays the same
    3) The virus mutates into a weaker form

    Scientifically speaking, scenario 3 is the most likely. Viruses are most successful when they don’t harm their hosts. They’re also more likely to accumulate deleterious mutations over time because genetic recombination in viruses is rare.

    But which of these 3 scenarios do you think the media will focus on more? I’ll give you a hint: scenario 3 will be widely censored.

  2. Avatar

    London Al

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    This is the UK government yet again trying to control the narrative in order to deflect from their own incompetence, as usual thay haven’t thought it through properly and now we’re the world’s biggest leper colony.

    We’re told this incredibly virulent new strain has actually been around since September but somehow it didn’t become incredibly virulent until December, not only is it unique to UK but it’s unique to London and the South-East, quite extraordinary, and the announcement just happens to coincide with the cancellation of Christmas, which 4 days earlier we were told wasn’t going to happen.

    There has been one cock-up after another here for 9 months but it’s never their fault, this latest idea for shifting the blame is already backfiring horribly, I actually find their behaviour embarrassing.

    • Avatar

      Robert Bunker

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Bang on the money. ‘World beating’ incompetence from both government and their “expert” advisors. I hope and pray that I am wrong but it does also seem to provide a perfect scare scenario for blundering Boris to extend the Brexit transition phase come 31st.

    • Avatar

      James R

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 9:44 pm

      The reason we know about the number of cases and the new strain is that we are testing tens of thousands of people a DAY.

      Many countries are not testing and are keeping their head in the sand, pretending they have hardly any cases, it will all come out later.

      It is easy to blame the government over and over again, things are changing on a daily basis and the government is doing its best to keep it under control, I doubt if you and the other constant moaners could do any better.

      But never mind the rest of us are pulling together in true Brit style and we will get out of this eventually.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      No, the reason you “know about the number of cases and the new strain” is because of the numbers dying and filling up the hospitals which you can easily directly compare with other countries.

      Ask any expert and all are now unanimous that mass testing doesn’t work and is as impossible as it is pointless given the current technology, particularly using the UK’s test of choice for mass testing which the BMA and SAGE have both already said is inaccurate in over half the tests even compared to PCR tests – literally over half.

      … and of course it’s “easy to blame the government” – they’re the ones in charge, and the ones making a monumental cock up of everything they’re doing, “on a daily basis”.

      It’s their responsibility, for crying out loud.

      … and so what if the government’s “doing its best”? My dogs could “do their best”, but I wouldn’t put them in charge of anything – not that they could do much worse.

      Governments aren’t paid to do their best – they’re paid to do their job, and if they can’t do that they shouldn’t be doing it.

      As for “pulling together in true Brit style”, according to SAGE only 20% of the country are obeying quarantine regulations even when directly ordered to self-quarantine on return from abroad or as a result of the UK’s track’n’trace (in turn, yet another dismal government failure).

      “Pulling together” demands a lot more than standing outside your front door once a week to “clap for the NHS” (yet another dismal government failure, with a Covid death rate for those hospitalised that’s twice as bad as Germany’s) or ringing a bell for Christmas.

      I hate to agree with London AI, but “embarrassing” is an understatement.

  3. Avatar

    James R

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Issan John

    I could answer your points in detail but as they are all wrong I won’t bother as it would be a waste of time.

    Most of us here are doing the right thing, not the 20% nonsense you are coming out with.

    Enjoy the false stats in Thailand, keep your head in the sand, I am sure the dictatorship of a government there is giving you all the right facts.

    Once we are inoculated here with our own vaccine we might sell Thailand a few doses at the right price, you farangs will be at the end of the queue of course.


    • Avatar

      Patrick Kelly

      Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 8:16 am

      What’s embarrassing is Thailand’s spot on line for the vaccine. Now that’s truly an abomination. Pray that this outbreak stays contained.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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