Netherlands bans UK flights after finding new coronavirus strain

Dutch government bans all passenger flights from UK as a ‘precautionary’ bid to limit spread of mutated virus strain.

The flight ban comes into effect on Sunday and will last until January 1 [File: Phil Noble/Reuters]
(Aljazeera News) – The Netherlands has banned flights carrying passengers from the United Kingdom after Dutch authorities found the first case of the new, more infectious coronavirus strain that is circulating in England.

The Dutch government, in a statement early on Sunday, said the ban will remain in place until January 1.

“An infectious mutation of the COVID-19 virus is circulating in the United Kingdom. It is said to spread more easily and faster and is more difficult to detect,” the health ministry said in a statement.

The Dutch public health body, the RIVM, therefore “recommends any introduction of this virus strain from the UK be limited as much as possible by limiting and/or controlling passenger movements”.

The ministry said a case study in the Netherlands “at the beginning of December revealed a virus with the variant described” in the UK.

Experts were looking at how the infection happened and whether there were related cases, it added.

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