Over the last few weeks, there has been growing concern as the United Kingdom battles a new strain of COVID-19. While this mutation is believed to have a similar effect on people, it is far more infectious than the previously known strain of SARS-CoV-2.
"The new variant transmits more easily than the previous one but there is no evidence that it is more likely to cause severe disease or mortality," the UK government wrote on its website at the beginning of this week.
As the world inches closer to winning the battle against COVID-19, many states are not prepared to deal with a fresh bout of cases. In many areas, the casualties now number in the hundreds of thousands, and the healthcare system has been overwhelmed. As such, as many as 40 countries have announced flight closures and bans on travel to and from the UK.
In India for example, all flights originating from UK to India have been suspended till the end of 2020. Others, such as Canada and France have announced shorter bans.
In Canada, flights from the United Kingdom have been banned for 72 hours. This suspension began at the stroke of midnight on December 21 (local time) and it is unclear whether it will be extended. And France has banned all travel from the UK for 48 hours from midnight Sunday. According to reports, this includes trucks carrying freight through the tunnel under the English Channel or from the port of Dover on England’s south coast. While some countries, such as Germany have banned all passenger flights, there is not much clarity as to how long such a ban would last.
For some, the ban is also not limited to the UK. According to Turkey's Anadolu Agency, there is a temporary suspension in place for flights from the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, and South Africa to Turkey.
Here's a full list:
Republic of Ireland