The Dutch government has banned flights from the UK to the Netherlands until the new year due to the spread of a new strain of Covid-19 in Britain.
The order will be in force from 6am on 20 December until 1 January at the earliest, the Dutch government said on its website.
In a statement, it added: “Pending further information and an explanation of the epidemiological situation in the United Kingdom, [the public health institute] recommends that any introduction of this virus strain from the United Kingdom should be limited as much as possible by limiting or controlling passenger movements.”
Health workers had detected a case of the new mutant virus inside the Netherlands, the statement said.
Urging Dutch citizens not to travel abroad unless strictly necessary, the government continued: "The cabinet is closely monitoring the developments of the Covid-19 virus abroad and is investigating the possibilities for additional measures for other modes of transport.
“In the coming days, it will, in close collaboration with other EU member states, look into the possibilities of further restricting imports of the virus from the United Kingdom.”
On Saturday, Boris Johnson announced that millions of people in London and southeast England would be placed under a new tier 4 of coronavirus restrictions, disrupting Christmas plans for many.
Scotland and Wales have also announced new lockdowns linked to the mutant virus strain.
While scientists do not believe the novel variant causes more serious illness than the original, it is up to 70 per cent more transmissible. Its rapid spread may spell trouble for an already creaking NHS.
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