UK travel news: Netherlands BANS UK flights in bid to contain new coronavirus mutation | UK | News

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The Dutch government announced the travel restriction in a statement with the ban commencing on December 20 at 6.00am local time.

It said: “A contagious new variant of coronavirus has been detected in the United Kingdom.

“This strain of the virus is thought to spread more easily and more quickly and is also harder to detect.

“In light of this, on Saturday afternoon, the UK government announced tougher restrictions for London, the South East of England and the East of England.”

The veto on air travel from the UK is set to end on January 1, 2021, at the latest, according to the Dutch government.

But according to the official statement, the Netherlands found in early December the same virus strain as the one discovered in the UK.

The sample is now being investigated further following alarming observations made in the UK.

The probe is being conducted jointly with the municipal health service (GGD) and wil analyse “who the individual concerned is, the circumstances in which they were infected and whether there are any known related cases”.

In the statement, the Government of the Netherlands added: “On the basis of reports on the situation in the UK, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has reviewed the travel advisories for people arriving in the Netherlands from the United Kingdom.

“Pending further details and greater clarity on the situation in the United Kingdom, RIVM has advised that the risk of the new virus strain being introduced to the Netherlands should be minimised as much as possible by restricting or regulating travel from the UK.”

The announcement comes after Professor Chris Whitty warned the new virus mutation can spread more rapidly than the first strain.

Prof Whitty said his assessment was based on the rising rate of Covid infections in the south east of England.

In a statement, England’s chief medical officer said: “As announced on Monday, the UK has identified a new variant of Covid-19 through Public Health England’s genomic surveillance.

“As a result of the rapid spread of the new variant, preliminary modelling data and rapidly rising incidence rates in the South East, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) now consider that the new strain can spread more quickly.”





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