Britain is heading towards international isolation as several Member States impose travel restrictions on UK travelers and France suspends freight traffic across the Channel.
A new, highly contagious strain of coronavirus in the UK is sparking fear across Europe.
Concentrated in London, South East and the East of England, the new strain is thought to be 71% more transmissible than other variants.
When the UK’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) met on 18 December, they noted the new strain could be responsible for an increase in the R-value (the number of people that one infected person will pass on a virus to, on average) from 0.39 to 0.93. The following day the UK announced stricter restrictions for parts of England , including London, which has since prompted various forms of transport restrictions across a majority of Member States.
At the time of writing, at least 15 countries – both within and outside the EU – have introduced restrictions on travellers coming from the UK.
These include Candada, Honk Kong, Switzerland and Turkey, and Member States Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and France.