Coronavirus, new strain, COVID-19, new coronavirus strain

New coronavirus strain reaches 15 countries

The new strain of Coronavirus, which has been reported in the UK, has reached 15 countries, including Sweden, Canada, Spain and Japan.

Vaccination of medical personnel and care home residents has been started in various European countries, while corona vaccination has also been introduced in Cyprus and Oman.

The French government is considering a third lockdown.

In Sydney, people are waiting for government permission to celebrate the New Year.

The number of people infected with the corona virus worldwide has reached 87,27,380, while the death toll from the deadly virus has risen to 1,764,778.

Britain’s European neighbours began closing their doors to travellers from the United Kingdom on Sunday (20 Dec) amid alarm about a rapidly spreading strain of coronavirus that has caused cases to soar there.

France said it would bar all people coming from the United Kingdom for 48 hours from Sunday night, including freight carriers, whether by road, air, sea or rail.

Germany, Italy and the Netherlands ordered a suspension of flights from Britain, while Ireland said it would impose restrictions on flights and ferries from its neighbour.

Belgium said it would close its borders to flights and trains – including the popular Eurostar service – coming from the United Kingdom.

“The COVID variant recently discovered in London is worrying and will need to be investigated by our scientists,” Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said.

 “In the meantime we choose the path of maximum prudence.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday that the new strain had led to spiralling infection numbers. His government tightened its COVID-19 restrictions for London and nearby areas, and also reversed plans to ease restrictions over the Christmas period.

The travel curbs also compound problems for the United Kingdom as it finally exits the European Union on Dec. 31 after a transition period this year. London and Brussels have so far failed to reach a post-Brext trade deal, raising the prospect of chaos in goods traffic.

The German government said all flights from the United Kingdom would be suspended from midnight.

“It (the virus mutation) has not yet been identified in Germany,” Health Minister Jens Spahn told public broadcaster ARD. “But of course we take the reports from Britain very seriously.”

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