Canada suspends passenger flights from UK amid fears over coronavirus mutation
- 21 December 2020
Canada is suspending air travel from the United Kingdom starting Monday, following the discovery of a new coronavirus strain in the UK, APA reports citing Sputnik.
"Given the high number of cases of a variant COVID-19 virus observed in some areas in the United Kingdom, the decision has been made to suspend entry into Canada of all commercial and private passenger flights from the United Kingdom for 72 hours, effective midnight tonight," the Canadian government said in a Sunday statement.
According to the release, as before, all passengers arriving in Canada are required to self-isolate for two weeks.
"Additionally, passengers who arrived in Canada today from the United Kingdom are now subject to secondary screening and enhanced measures, including increased scrutiny of quarantine plans. Passengers who arrived recently from the United Kingdom will also receive additional direction from the Government of Canada," the Sunday statement says.
On Saturday, UK health officials announced that the country had identified a new variant of the coronavirus that is 70 percent more transmissible than other Sars-Cov-2 virus strains.
The UK government practically locked down parts of the country, including London, after admitting that more than half of all new COVID-19 cases had been caused by the new strain.
As UK citizens rushed out of the locked down areas ahead of Christmas, many countries chose to close borders with the whole of the United Kingdom in a bid to prevent the import of the new virus strain.
The new coronavirus variant, which infects more easily but does not appear to be more deadly or pose any concerns for vaccines, has also been detected in the Netherlands, Denmark, South Africa and Australia.