Saudi Embassy in Paris clarifies that what was reported in media about arrest of Saudi citizen suspected in the case of citizen Jamal Khashoggi is incorrect, calls for his immediate release    Winners of "Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium 2021" Announced    Jordan Records 6,392 New Cases of COVID-19    Aramco and Larsen & Toubro to Collaborate on Manufacturing Sector Development    KSrelief Launches Food Security Project in Ma'rib, Yemen    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Higher at 11,108.20 Points    OIC Strongly Condemns Houthi's Launch of Ballistic Missiles towards Riyadh and Khamis Mushait    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Chairs Cabinet's Virtual Session    Egypt Condemns Houthi Militia's Targeting of Riyadh with a Ballistic Missile    Saudi Press: Saudi Arabia Always Seeks to Enhance its Relations With GCC Countries in Various Fields    Bahrain strongly condemns launch of ballistic missile by terrorist Houthi militia towards Riyadh city    Saudi Aramco Announces $15.5 Billion Landmark Gas Pipeline Deal with Global Consortium    UN deplores conviction and sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi    Dr. Al Rabeeah inaugurates launch of first 154 aid trucks to Yemen    Crown Prince embarks on Gulf states tour    SWCC shares initiatives in realizing Saudi Green goals in London Forum    King Abdullah Port sponsors SMME reinforcing commitment to maritime sector    Saudi Export Development Authority Organizes Saudi Trade Mission to USA    Coalition forces shoot down two Houthi-fired drones    Saudi Arabia's new COVID-19 cases continue its slight rise    Saudi and GCC entrants set to dominate motorcycle and quad battles in Hail    LuLu group and EFAA group make kindness and support priority on World Disability Day.    10 days to go until Riyadh comes alive with MDLBEAST'S majestic shows    World Directs Attention to Final Round of FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup in Hail    Saudi ministry stresses need for wearing masks, social distancing in mosques    Pakistani education minister lauds Saudi e-learning success during the pandemic    Next pandemic could be more lethal than Covid, says vaccine creator    5-day Jeddah international motor show starts Today at 6 PM    Lewis Hamilton wins thrilling Saudi Arabian Grand Prix    Crown Prince attends inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix    Deputy Governor of Hail: Hail International Rally is a practical translation of the wise leadership's support    Hail International Rally to Kick off Tomorrow    Hamilton sets pace in free trials in Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix    Red Sea Immersive to provide enthralling experience: Liz Rosenthal    Invest in Saudi Arabia Initiative Announces its Partnership with Formula 1 Saudi Grand Prix    Duchess of Sussex wins latest court battle with Mail on Sunday publisher    Trolls join UN campaign for healthier eating, sustainable living    BIENALSUR Exhibition Arrives in Jeddah at Historic Site of Qasr Khuzam    Saudi Hind Al-Showaier Elected Regional Director of World Federation of the Deaf    Saudi Film Commission launch its strategy to develop film and cinema sector    Bollywood superstar Salman Khan to dazzle Riyadh Season on Dec. 10    Bollywood star's 'India got freedom in 2014' remark stirs controversy    23 Saudi women obtain favorable verdicts in 'adhl' lawsuits    Bride's fingerprint not required in revised e-marriage contract    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

EU nations, Canada ban travel from UK due to new coronavirus strain
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 21 - 12 - 2020

Officials in both the UK and the EU will meet later on Monday after a host of the UK's European neighbors banned travel from the country due to a new more infectious strain of coronavorus that has spread rapidly across England and Wales.
As other European countries continue to deliberate on bringing in similar measures, France, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Bulgaria, Finland and Denmark are among the countries to have announced bans of varying lengths. Canada has now also banned flights arriving from the UK.
Bulgaria became the latest country to close its air, sea and land borders to travelers coming from the United Kingdom from midnight until Jan. 31 to prevent importing a new strain of the coronavirus, the Health Ministry said on Sunday, Reuters reported.
Earlier, the government said it was suspending flights from and to Britain until the end of January. Returning Bulgarians and people with long-term residence permits along with their family members will be allowed in the country, but will have to go into obligatory 10-day quarantine, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
The EU Council will discuss coordinating the EU response to the COVID-19 variant in the UK on Monday morning, Sebastian Fischer, a spokesperson for the German presidency of the council said on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson will chair an emergency COBRA meeting to discuss the UK being cut off from Europe, with freight in and out of the UK looking set to be severely impacted.
Especially of concern are the measures adopted by France, which said the movement of goods, "by road, air, sea or rail" would be included in its current 48-hour ban, according to a report in Euronews.
"Only unaccompanied freight will therefore be authorized. The flow of people or transport towards the United Kingdom will not be affected," the French government said in a statement.
French officials said the pause would buy time to find a "common doctrine" on how to deal with the threat, but it threw the busy cross-Channel route used by thousands of trucks a day into chaos.
The Port of Dover tweeted on Sunday night that its ferry terminal was "closed to all accompanied traffic leaving the UK until further notice due to border restrictions in France".
Eurostar passenger trains from London to Paris, Lille, Brussels, and Amsterdam have also been canceled on Monday and Tuesday with hopes to resume services from Wednesday.
Germany suspended "from midnight" on Sunday all its air links with Great Britain, the Health Minister announced. Jens Spahn told television channel ARD that from Monday British and South African citizens would be barred from entry by sea, rail or road.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo on Sunday said he was issuing the order for 24 hours starting at midnight "out of precaution", and that train travel from the UK would be included in the ban.
"There are a great many questions about this new mutation and if it is not already on the mainland," he said. He added that he hoped to have more clarity as of Tuesday.
The Dutch ban, from 6am CET on Sunday until Jan. 1, came hours after Britain issued stricter restrictions for part of the country to slow the new variant.
"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 agency therefore "recommends that any introduction of this virus strain from the United Kingdom be limited as much as possible by limiting and/or controlling passenger movements."
Italy has banned flights from the UK from Sunday until Jan. 6, as the country detected a case of the new strain in a hospital in Rome. The patient had recently flown back from the UK, a statement from the Health Ministry said.
"I have signed a new decree that blocks flights from Great Britain and prohibits entry into Italy for people who have stayed there for the last 14 days," Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in a statement.
Ireland imposed a 48-hour ban on flights from the UK, starting at midnight on Sunday. Irish Transport Secretary Eamon Ryan said ferries would continue to operate to allow freight to be shipped between the two countries.
"We need haulage coming in to keep our shelves full but other passengers will be restricted," he said.
Austria, Sweden, Romania, Finland, Denmark and Bulgaria are among other countries to have also imposed travel restrictions.
Denmark said flights to and from the UK would be suspended for 48 hours from Monday. Finland has put in place a two-week suspension of flights, also from Monday.
Canada announced its own ban on Sunday night. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that for 72 hours starting at midnight on Sunday, "all flights from the UK will be prohibited from entering Canada".
He added that travelers who arrived on Sunday would be subject to secondary screening and other health measures. A follow-up statement from the government said cargo flights were not included in the ban.
Morocco and Turkey also temporarily suspended flights to the UK on Sunday.
The Central American nation of El Salvador, meanwhile, said it would refuse entry to anyone who has visited Britain in the preceding 30 days.
Saudi Arabia has suspended international flights and closed its borders for a week.
The variant spreading across the UK is up to 70 percent more transmissable than other types, Johnson has said. But he stressed "there's no evidence to suggest it is more lethal or causes more severe illness," or that vaccines will be less effective against it.
On Sunday, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock added to the alarm when he said "the new variant is out of control". The UK recorded 35,928 further confirmed cases, around double the number from a week ago.
The new strain currently accounts for over 62 percent of COVID infections in London, and was the cause of a further lockdown across the south-east of England.
But in his briefing to TV stations on Sunday, Germany's health minister Jens Spahn said EU experts have concluded that current vaccines against COVID-19 remain effective against the new variant.
"As far as we know at the moment and following talks between experts from the European authorities", the new strain "has no impact on the vaccines" which remain "just as effective", he said. — Agencies

Clic here to read the story from its source.