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Why the World is Shutting out the United Kingdom

Why the World is Shutting out the United Kingdom
The Indian government has also announced a travel ban on the UK from December 23rd until December 31st, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The discovery of a new variant of COVID-19 has triggered a series of travel bans on the UK

OT Staff
December 22 , 2020
03 Min Read

Countries around the world are in the process of imposing severe travel restrictions on the United Kingdom following the discovery of a new coronavirus strain within its boundaries. According to reports, more than forty places have banned travel from the UK in a bid to prevent the strain from pervading their borders. India, too, joined the list on Monday.

The panic-stricken situation ensued following the rapid spread of the strain in London and South-East England ahead of the holiday season. There is no evidence that the strain is vaccine-resistant or deadlier, but Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that the new variant of the virus - which may be up to 70% more transmissible - is "getting out of control". The British government also attributed a recent surge in cases to the same.

As a consequence, a majority of the European nations, including France, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, Bulgaria, Belgium, Finland, Croatia, Denmark, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Estonia, Norway, and Spain have shut their borders to the country, and imposed restrictions of varying lengths on travellers from the UK. In the Middle East, Kuwait, Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Jordan have followed suit. Latin America’s Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Peru have joined the wave, while Russia, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Canada, India, and Morocco have suspended air travel with the UK.

The United States, however, hasn’t arrived at a conclusive decision yet. The US Health and Human Services assistant secretary Adm. Brett Giroir said he didn’t foresee a quick US ban on UK travel.

READ: European Council Lifts Travel Restrictions

The Indian government, on the other hand, has announced a travel ban on the UK from December 23, 2020 until December 31, 2020. Passengers arriving from the UK in transit flights- flights that have taken off, or flights which are reaching India before December 22, 2020 – will be subjected to a RT-PCR test at Indian airports.

According to the Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Puri, "Those found positive on arrival (will) be sent for institutional quarantine set up by state/union territory governments in collaboration with the states/UTs concerned. Those found negative should be advised to isolate at home for 7 days and will be medically monitored by the states/UTs."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson helmed a Downing Street Press Conference on Monday, and stated that they’ve taken "prompt and decisive action to curb the spread of the variant within the UK."


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