Italy joins Netherlands and Belgium in banning flights from UK
Share article:
Share article:

Italy joins Netherlands and Belgium in banning flights from UK

Credit: Belga

Italy has now also banned flights from the United Kingdom as a precaution as a more infectious coronavirus variant emerged in England, announced Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.

With this decision, Italy follows the Netherlands and Belgium, who have both announced they would ban flights from the UK on Sunday, to prevent the spread of a more infectious mutation of the coronavirus, which has seen parts of the UK return to strict lockdown measures for the holiday period.

Several other countries, such as Israel, Germany and France, are also “seriously considering” banning the entry of travellers from the UK. France, like Belgium, is also considering shutting down Eurostar connections, and is “looking for European coordination.”

In the meantime, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling on its members in Europe to “strengthen their controls” in the light of the new variant.

Related News:

 

In the Netherlands, the ban came into force at 6:00 AM on Sunday morning, and will run until 1 January. Dutch Minister-President Mark Rutte immediately asked for European consultation.

In Belgium, the ban will take effect on midnight and will only apply for 24 hours for the time being, as scientific consultations on this virus mutation are still ongoing, according to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

In addition to banning flights, Belgium is also temporarily shutting down all Eurostar connections from the UK.

On Sunday morning, Belgian Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said that the ban was put into force “because we certainly do not want to see the new variant of the coronavirus in England coming here.”

“In the meantime, we are looking at exactly how it works and what we may need to do further,” he said on Flemish radio. “You must not wait too long, with situations like this.”

According to top health officials, there is no evidence that the new variant is more deadly, or would react differently to vaccines, but it is proving to be up to 70% more transmissible, reports BBC.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...