December 14, the United Kingdom announced the emergence of mutant novel coronavirus in England. Less than a week later, officials said that “the new strain has lost control”.
According to the Daily Mirror on the 21st, many countries have begun to ban British tourists due to concerns about the mutant coronavirus from the United Kingdom. The British capital London Heathrow Airport has fallen into chaos, and hundreds of anxious passengers are trapped in the airport.
The Daily Mirror said that the mutant coronavirus spread rapidly in London and southeastern England, and about 20 million people were classified into the new level 4 confinement zone.
After Matt Hancock, the British Health Secretary, said that the newly discovered mutant coronavirus in the United Kingdom has been out of control, Germany, France, Italy and other European countries have taken measures to restrict the entry of aircraft from the United Kingdom. People rushed to St Pancras railway station in London, hoping to leave the city before trains between London and other European cities were shut down.
At London Heathrow Airport, which has the largest passenger throughput in the UK, the situation is even more chaotic.
The 23-year-old passenger, Rachael Scully, was supposed to take the 8:55 p.m. flight from London to Dublin, but was initially told that the flight could not be taken. Fortunately, the Irish government gave them a green light, and the plane finally took off at 10:30 p.m. and landed 15 minutes before the travel ban began to be implemented.
Fifteen minutes later, that is, after 12 o’clock that night, Ireland’s temporary 48-hour travel ban on London and other places in the United Kingdom will come into effect. The ban prohibits non-essential flights and ferry flights from London and other places in the United Kingdom from entering Ireland.
With the exception of Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Finland and Denmark have banned all flights with passengers from the United Kingdom for at least 48 hours, the Daily Mail reported on December 21. Some flights will be suspended before the New Year, waiting for an assessment of the current tension.
Subsequently, Israel, Turkey, Morocco, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and El Salvador followed suit, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also said that Canada would suspend flights from the United Kingdom for 72 hours.
The Daily Mirror said that these measures are short-term, and the EU will meet on December 21 to agree on a more appropriate plan.
In the face of increasing pressure on crowds within the airport, London Heathrow Airport tweeted to warn passengers not to come to the airport without flights.
The company said: “All passengers are advised to check the flight status and travel opinions before going to the airport. If you don’t have a ticket or your destination is a country with a ban on the UK, you will not be able to check in, please contact your airline.”
Some flights accepted ticket reservations in excess of the number of seats. In a December 21 report, The Irish newspaper said hundreds of passengers were lining up at Heathrow Airport to try to rebook another flight. People arrived with no idea of the situation and no one came to tell them what had happened.
Meanwhile, there were tweets online urging passengers stranded at Heathrow to stay where they were. One user said, “With all due respect, you are from the area with the highest infection rate, where there is also a more infectious COVID-19. You are risking the virus to Ireland. Please think about it and stay where you are, although I know it’s hard.”