The United Kingdom announced the emergence of a mutant novel coronavirus on December 14, and then many places, including the capital London, were “locked down again”. On the 20th, Matt Hancock, the British Health Secretary, directly warned that the epidemic caused by the mutant strain of the virus “has gone out of control”.
A day later, the British Daily Telegraph reported that the news of the virus mutation attracted national attention. At present, more than 50 countries and regions have issued different travel restrictions on the United Kingdom, covering Europe, Asia, South America, the Caribbean and the Middle East, to stop the spread of mutant coronavirus in the country.
According to the newspaper’s statistics, France, Spain, Gibraltar, Germany, Italy, Poland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Romania, Austria, Hungary, Portugal, Latvia, Luxembourg, Finland, Moldova, Denmark, Turkey, Russia and the Netherlands have said that they have stopped or will soon stop British passenger flights.
Greece has imposed stricter quarantine measures on passengers from the UK.
At present, most parts of Europe have British travel on the “red list”, and all people visiting the UK have to go home and quarantine for 10 days.
In addition to Europe, Canada, Kuwait, Mauritius, Hong Kong, China, Israel, Chile, Iran, Uzbekistan, Jordan, Peru, India, Argentina, Morocco, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Panama, Singapore, Tunisia, Oman, Pakistan, Jamaica, Grenada, Dominy Canada, Colombia, Algeria, El Salvador, Iraq and Saudi Arabia also announced a ban on British tourists.
The Financial Times wrote that on the 21st, about 80 flights were cancelled at London Heathrow Airport and about 30 flights were cancelled at Gatwick Airport. Although domestic flights and flights to the United States are still in operation, a large number of flights are expected to be cancelled at the country’s airports thereafter.
At present, there are still some countries and regions that have joined in restricting the entry of British tourists. For example, Macao announced on the evening of the 21st that from 10:00 p.m. that night, people entering from Hong Kong and the United Kingdom will need to focus on medical observation for 21 days.
The South Korean government announced on the 23rd that in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 mutant strains into the country, flights with the United Kingdom will be suspended from now until the 31st of this month.
Yoon Tae-ho, head of the epidemic prevention umbrella group of the Central Emergency Response Headquarters of South Korea, said that the isolation exemption policy for staff of South Korea’s diplomatic missions in the United Kingdom will also be suspended. All people entering the United Kingdom will be quarantined for 14 days and subject to nucleic acid testing again after the quarantine period. In addition, the South Korean government will strengthen the quarantine procedure for people entering the UK, requiring all crew members to be tested for the virus.
The United States is ready to strengthen restrictions.
It is worth noting that although the United Kingdom has been “blackmailed” by many countries in the world, the United States, which is the “hardest hit area” of the epidemic, has not yet imposed restrictions on British flights.
However, Reuters quoted sources on the 21st as saying that the U.S. government is considering requiring all passengers from the United Kingdom to produce negative COVID-19 tests within 72 hours before departure.
On the same day, New York Governor Cuomo announced that passengers on some flights from the United Kingdom to New York must provide a negative coronavirus certificate before boarding the plane. Subsequently, three American airlines followed up on the above decision.
On the 22nd, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that because only a very few viruses have been sequenced, the mutant coronavirus may have spread in the United States without detection.
In addition, infectious disease scientist Fauci and former FDA director Gottlieb also believe that mutant coronavirus may have appeared in the United States. Some virologists speculate that the mutant virus may have originated in the United States.
The move was hampered by the transportation of goods in the English Channel due to emergency travel restrictions imposed on Britain by more than a dozen European countries. On the afternoon of the 21st, the European Commission held crisis negotiations on the British mutant virus in Brussels, recommending that member states lift the comprehensive ban imposed on the United Kingdom, resume necessary travel and avoid supply chain disruptions.
After the European Commission issued the above recommendation, the French government decided that night to allow some people from the United Kingdom who have tested negative for COVID-19 to enter France and resume some transportation from the 23rd local time.
The French Prime Minister’s Office announced that citizens of EU countries, British and third-party countries with long-term residence rights to the European Union, and other people who need to travel for a purpose can enter France as long as they have a negative test for COVID-19 within 72 hours. This entry condition will be enforced until at least January 6 next year.
In addition, the French Minister of Transport also confirmed on social media that British and French aircraft, ships and Eurostar trains will also resume operation from the morning of the 23rd. The entry conditions for the large number of stranded trucks currently from the United Kingdom to France are still being formulated and will be announced later.
According to the statistics of the British Department of Health and Social Security, as of December 22, local time, 36,804 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were added in the United Kingdom within 24 hours, the highest number of new cases in a single day since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic, with a total of 2,110,314 confirmed cases; 691 new deaths, 28 after confirmation. The cumulative number of deaths in the day was 68,307.