Covid 19: Flights shut down as EU discusses UK virus threat

EU officials are discussing a joint response to a new, more infectious Covid-19 variant in the UK, which has sparked travel bans by many countries.

Covid 19: Flights shut down as EU discusses UK virus threat

EU officials are discussing a joint response to a new, more infectious Covid-19 variant in the UK, which has sparked travel bans by many countries.

Canada and India joined European states in blocking flights from the UK while Europe-bound train services via the Channel Tunnel have been halted.

The new variant is said to be up to 70% more transmissible but there is no evidence that it is more deadly.

There is also no proof to suggest that it reacts differently to vaccines.

French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said a protocol would be agreed within hours at the European Council meeting of government representatives to “ensure that movement from the UK can resume”.

There is an appetite in Brussels for a more co-ordinated response partly because the EU felt that at the beginning of the pandemic earlier in the year the member states had adopted an “every-country-for-itself” approach which threatened the very idea of European co-operation, BBC Europe Correspondent Kevin Connolly writes.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC News earlier that the new variant was “out of control”, while Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands announced they had already detected it.

 

BBC