EU urges countries to lift UK travel bans
The European Union has urged countries within the region to lift their travel bans on the UK to allow essential journeys and minimise trade disruption Sky News reported on Tuesday.
This plea comes after on Monday, number of countries banned travel from the United Kingdom after it reported a more-infectious and out of control coronavirus variant.
France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Croatia and the Netherlands have halted flights arriving from the UK, the Guardian newspaper reported.
Almost all the EU's 27 member states are now blocking travellers from the UK.
The UK has among the highest Covid-19 death rates in Europe, with more than 67,000 fatalities and over two million casesMany other countries, from India, to Iran, to Canada have suspended flights from the UK.
The new strain has also been detected in Denmark, Australia, Italy and the Netherlands.
On Tuesday, the BBC said that the EU ambassadors are meeting to try to co-ordinate their policies on links to the UK.
Sky News said the EU commissioner for justice, Didier Reynders, said that blanket travel bans should not prevent citizens of the EU and UK from returning to their homes in the run up to Christmas.
France and the UK are trying to reach a deal to end disruption in the Channel.
The BBC reported that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was working with French President Emmanuel Macron to resume trade, and that he hoped the issue would be resolved as soon as possible.
CNN said Argentina, Chile and Colombia had all also suspended direct flights to and from Britain, while Ecuador was considering stronger measures to contain the virus.
The Chilean government announced on Twitter that all flights to and from the UK will be suspended from Tuesday and travellers who had been to the UK in the past 14 days would have to self-quarantine.
In Saudi Arabia, all international flights have been suspended for a week and entry from sea ports has also been blocked.
Turkey banned flights from the UK, South Africa -- which has also reported a new variant of the coronavirus -- as well as from the Netherlands and Denmark, according to state-owned news agency Anadolu.
– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Naomi Mackay