Spain, Portugal to ban UK flights as new COVID-19 strain spreads
- 22 December 2020
The Spanish and Portuguese governments have joined other European nations in suspending incoming flights from the United Kingdom (UK) following the detection of a new variant of the coronavirus, which is thought to be around 70 percent more transmissible than previous strains, APA reports citing Xinhua.
According to a communique published on Twitter on Monday afternoon, "The government of Spain, together with Portugal, will suspend from tomorrow (Tuesday) the entry into the Spanish territory of citizens from the United Kingdom, except nationals or residents in our country."
The communique added: "Border control in Gibraltar (the British Overseas Territory on Spain's south coast) will also be strengthened."
A case of the new coronavirus strain has already been identified in Gibraltar, the UK government has confirmed. Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said on RAC1 radio that no cases of the strain have so far been found in Spain.
Before Spain and Portugal, a number of other European countries including the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Romania, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Lithuania and Denmark have imposed restrictions on travel from the UK.