EU may ban flights to the UK due to COVID-19 mutant virus.
EU may ban flights to the UK due to COVID-19 mutant virus. The British Minister of Health says that “the new strain is out of control” and Germany hopes that the EU will ban flights to the UK.
On the 14th, the United Kingdom announced the emergence of the COVID-19 mutant virus. On the 19th, London and other places were “closed” again… On the 20th, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock directly warned that the epidemic caused by the mutant virus strain was “out of control” .
Hancock said that areas such as London that have been upgraded to the fourth level (the highest level) of prevention and control must be prepared. Everyone is looking forward to the arrival of Christmas, but the fact that a large number of people gather to “escape from London” to spend Christmas is “completely irresponsible.”
At the same time, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy have successively banned flights from the United Kingdom due to concerns about the mutated new coronavirus from the United Kingdom. The French government is also considering a complete suspension of flights and trains with the United Kingdom.In addition, the German and Spanish governments hope that the European Union will take unified action to completely ban air travel between EU countries and the United Kingdom.
Hancock is interviewed, video screenshot Hancock is interviewed, video screenshot
British Secretary of Health: New strains are “out of control”
In an interview with British Sky TV on the 20th, Hancock said that this new virus will be a huge challenge in the coming months before the vaccine is launched. He added: “Everyone, especially those in the fourth level (lockdown) area, need to act as if they are likely to be infected with the virus. This is the only way we can control the epidemic.”
After the mutant strain was discovered, in order to curb a large-scale counterattack against the COVID-19 epidemic, British Prime Minister Johnson announced on the 19th that the level of epidemic prevention and control in London and other places would be upgraded. According to the new regulations, in the next two weeks starting on the 20th, the level of epidemic prevention in London and surrounding areas will be upgraded to the new fourth level; in the next two weeks, 30% of the UK’s population will once again be “closed.”
Johnson said that the spread of the mutated virus exceeded expectations and the UK “cannot continue to spend Christmas as originally planned.” As soon as the news came out, Londoners panicked. Many people used private cars and taxis, and took trains and other tools to “escape” overnight before the “closing the city.”
In the interview, Hancock condemned that people queuing at the train station and leaving London overnight was “completely irresponsible.”
Before the “closing of the city”, the people of London “flee” overnight before the “closing of the city”, the people of London “fleeing” overnight
Afterwards, he began to persuade people to comply with the epidemic regulations. He said that the control of new strains is “more important than ever before” and that people must abide by the rules and reduce social contact. “This is a deadly disease and we need to control it. The emergence of this new variant makes epidemic prevention more difficult.”
Just a few days ago, Johnson also promised to temporarily “relax” the epidemic prevention requirements during the holiday, and opposition to the Labor Party’s proposal to “cancel Christmas” to allow the British to “have a good Christmas”, but then announced to strengthen the Christmas holiday prevention and control level.
When asked why the government broke its promise, Hancock was helpless: “We understand how important Christmas is to people. But the ministers have no choice but to take action.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said he supports new restrictions on the capital, but he accused the government of giving people “false hope” for Christmas. He said that London had experienced “the worst year since World War II.”
Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, Chairman of the Council of the British Medical Association, said: “It is clear that (the new strain) infection is spreading at a dangerous level and the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK is in a dangerous state.”
Netherlands, Belgium and Italy have banned flights to the UK, Germany calls for a comprehensive ban from the EU
At the same time, the British “Guardian” reported on the 20th that Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands responded to the new strain and announced that flights from the United Kingdom were banned. France and Germany are also considering similar plans.
Screenshot of “Guardian” report Screenshot of “Guardian” report
Currently, Belgium has suspended flights from the United Kingdom and Eurostar flights at midnight on the 20th. Prime Minister De Crowe told the local Belgian television station that the ban will be implemented for at least 24 hours.
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said that after the UK “issued a warning against a new type of coronavirus, the Italian government decided to take action.” He added: “As a government, we have a responsibility to protect Italians. For this reason, the Ministry of Health will sign a clause to suspend flights with the UK. Our priority is to protect Italy and our countrymen.”
Previously, the Dutch government had banned flights from the UK on December 20 local time. In the future, the Netherlands may also stop other traffic between the two countries. The Dutch ban took effect at 6 a.m. local time on the 20th and will last until January 1 next year.
French TV station BFM reported on the same day that the French government is also considering a complete suspension of flights and trains with the United Kingdom, and is expected to issue an official decision on the evening of the 20th local time.
According to reports from Germany’s Bild and Agence France-Presse on the 20th, Germany hopes that the EU will take unified action to completely ban air travel between EU countries and the UK until January 6 next year. In addition, the German government will make a “necessary decision” on this matter today.
In addition to Germany, the Spanish government has also asked the European Commission and the European Council to provide a “joint and coordinated response” to this situation, adding that if there is no response, it will “take action to defend the interests and rights of Spanish citizens.” .
Agence France-Presse asked whether the European Commission would recommend that all EU countries ban British tourists from entering the country, but did not receive an immediate response.
In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on the 19th local time that it is in “close contact” with British officials on a newly emerged strain of the new coronavirus and will provide the latest information to member states and the public.
The WHO also told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that in addition to the United Kingdom, the same mutation of the new coronavirus has been found in the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia. There is currently no evidence that the new strains respond differently to the vaccine.