Spain and Portugal become latest countries to ban UK flights

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Spain and Portugal have become the latest countries to suspend flights from the UK following the discovery of a new strain of coronavirus.

The news comes after a number of European countries implemented travel restrictions in the wake of a new mutant strain of coronavirus sweeping through south east England.

France has banned travel to and from the UK to block the new strain of coronavirus, but Spain will just ban all travellers from Britain except Spanish nationals and residents from entering the country.

Controls at the border with Gibraltar, where at least one case of the new Covid-19 variant has already been detected, will be stepped up, the government added in a statement.

It said the entry ban for non-residents had been coordinated with neighbouring Portugal, which announced its decision late on Sunday.

The ban will come into force from Tuesday, December 22, the Spanish Government has confirmed.

A tweet from Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation read: “The Government of #Spain, together with #Portugal, will suspend from tomorrow the entry into the Spanish territory of citizens from the #UnitedKingdom, except nationals or residents in our country.

“Border control in #Gibraltar will also be strengthened.”

The Spanish government tweeted: “The Executive adopts this decision after the meeting of the EU crisis mechanism, which today analyzed the effects of the new strain of #COVID19 detected in the UK.”

The Channel Tunnel and Port of Dover were closed on Sunday over fears of the new mutant strain of coronavirus moving across the continent.

The border closure has prompted police in Kent to activate Operation Stack on the coastbound carriageway of the M20 early on Monday – leaving freight lorries queueing for miles.

Industry experts have also warned it could cause potential serious disruption to the country's Christmas fresh food supply.

On Monday morning the French Government said that “in the next few hours” it will establish a “protocol to ensure that movement from the UK can resume”.

Hundreds of Brits were pictured stranded at Heathrow Airport on Sunday night as travel bans were enforced on the UK following the outbreak of the new mutant strain of coronavirus.

  • Spain
  • Coronavirus

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