LONDON – The UK became increasingly cut off from the outside world on Monday as countries took drastic measures to contain a new mutant strain of coronavirus from spreading around the world

Dozens of countries including Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Iran, Colombia, and Morocco have suspended flights from the United States for 48 hours or more Saudi Arabia has closed its borders and suspended all flights regardless of destination or origin

Crisis meetings were scheduled in London and Brussels as officials debated the response to the variant, which experts estimate could be 70 percent more transferable than others in circulation

In England’s main port of Dover, which was bogged down earlier this weekend as a symptom of the country’s impending decoupling from the European Union, freight officials warned that the new travel bans could destroy food and goods supply chains days before Christmas

France’s Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari addressed these concerns and tweeted that Europe would introduce health control measures “in the hours ahead” to allow traffic to resume

French President Emmanuel Macron, recovering from Covid-19 in isolation, said his country may need negative PCR tests for French nationals returning home from the UK

Even so, the UK was already in chaos on highways, train stations and grocery stores, with people packed on trains to avoid the new domestic restrictions announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and stocked up on essentials for fear of possible bottlenecks

Although governments around the world are trying to prevent the spread of the recently identified Covid-19 strain, it appears to have already done so when it was discovered in the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Iceland

Calum Semple, a professor who sits at the UK The Government’s Emergency Scientific Advisory Group (SAGE) told Sky News that it suspects this new strain, or a similar strain, will be the dominant strain globally because it “outperforms all other strains in circulation”

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said in a briefing on Monday that the new strain is “significantly more transmissible than previously circulating variants” “It is a far cry from the first new variant of this coronavirus that appears in this one Year, and experts say there is no evidence that it is more lethal or that vaccines won’t work against it

It is unclear whether the virus has mutated in the UK or was just first discovered there thanks to the country’s world-class genome analysis facilities, SAGE scientists first warned the government about the new strain on Friday, and by going over previous tests they said it was in circulation at least as early as September

Other experts are more cautious Christian Drosten, professor of virology at Berlin’s Charite Hospital, told Radio Radio on Monday that he was “not so concerned at the moment” and said the data were too incomplete to be fixed, according to Reuters To draw conclusions

The United States is not one of the countries closing its borders, and officials are resisting calls to follow suit

“Today this variant gets on a plane and lands at JFK”, New York Gov Andrew Cuomo told reporters on Sunday, referring to John F of New York Kennedy International Airport, “How many times in life do you have to make the same mistake before you learn?”

Under President Donald Trump’s travel coronavirus bans, most foreigners who have been to Europe in the past 14 days are denied entry to the U.S. However, this does not apply to US. Citizens, lawful residents or their family members under the age of 21

For the UK themselves – who are already grappling with the worst Covid-19 deaths and the impending logistical chaos of Brexit – have turned the closings into a pariah state overnight

On Saturday, Johnson made his final U-turn, urging tens of millions of people in the south east of England to cancel Christmas plans days after assuring them they could move on

Johnson imposed a strict new ban on two-thirds of the country and blamed the appearance of the new variant, but experts have been warning for a month that his plan to let people mix indoors for five days at Christmas will lead to more cases, Hospitalizations and deaths would result

Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labor Party, was ridiculed by Johnson just last week for suggesting a review of Christmas plans

Starmer warned Monday that “the virus is now out of control: international flights have been banned, international borders have been closed and there is now serious disruption in UK ports,” he said in a video message, “Make no mistake of this is now a real emergency “

The front page of left-wing British tabloid The Daily Mirror branded the U. the “Sick Man of Europe” – a label that has been in use since the 19th Century is attributed to different sick countries

And many on Twitter referred to the country as “Plague Island” – which soon became a hot topic in the USAK

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World news – USA – UK cut off as mutated virus strain sets off global alarm

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/britain-cut-canada-others-new-covid-strain-spreads-n1251884