Ireland, France and Germany are considering bans on travel to and from the UK, over fears the mutated coronavirus could spread.
It comes after Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria said there would be flight suspensions in and out of Britain.
Ireland’s health minister has said there will be an announcement on potential restrictions on passengers.
Stephen Donnelly said that he and party leaders are looking at flights and ferries coming from Britain.
French broadcaster BFMTV reported that a high level “health defence council” would be held at 4pm to discuss what measures should be put in place.
Germany is also understood to be considering action, with a German government official telling the DPA news agency that restrictions on flights from Britain are a “serious option”.
Image: Countries around Europe are banning travel from the UK
Boris Johnson has put London and much of the southeast of England, where the new COVID strain is most prevalent, into a Tier 4 lockdown over the Christmas period in an attempt to get the disease back under control.
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At a news conference on Saturday, the prime minister noted the new COVID-19 strain was up to 70% more infectious than the original variant.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said six out of 10 infected people in the capital had the new variant.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned the country was facing an “enormous challenge”, adding that the mutation was “out of control” and could see areas stuck in Tier 4 until the UK’s most vulnerable have been vaccinated.
Dr Susan Hopkins, of Public Health England, said the new variant had spread to every region of England – as well as parts of Scotland and Wales, but in smaller amounts.
She said there was no evidence it was causing a disproportionate number of hospital admissions.
The Netherlands – which has already seen one case of the strain – banned flights from Britain until at least the new year.
Belgium has issued a 24-hour emergency stop to flights and train connections into the country from the UK.
Flights to Italy are cancelled as well.
And Austria is also planning to ban flights from Britain, the APA news agency said, citing the health ministry.
Source : Sky News