Italy finds patient with new COVID-19 strain which UK said is out of control
Rome, Dec 21: Italy's health ministry on Sunday said it has detected a patient infected with the new strain of COVID-19 which the UK said is "out of control". The patient and his partner returned from the United Kingdom in the last few days with a flight that landed at Rome's Fiumicino airport. Both of them are now in isolation, the ministry said.
Britain's European neighbours began closing their doors to travellers from the United Kingdom on Sunday amid alarm about the rapidly spreading strain of coronavirus that has caused cases to soar there.
France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and Bulgaria all have announced restrictions on UK travel, hours after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Christmas shopping and gatherings in southern England must be canceled because of rapidly spreading infections blamed on the new coronavirus variant.
Beyond Europe, Israel also said it was banning flights from Britain, Denmark and South Africa because those were the countries where the mutation is found. Canada also announced 72 hours ban starting at midnight Sunday.
While France banned all travel from the UK for 48 hours from midnight Sunday, Germany said all flights coming from Britain, except cargo flights, were no longer allowed to land starting midnight Sunday.
The Netherlands banned flights from the UK for at least the rest of the year. Ireland issued a 48-hour flight ban. Italy said it would block flights from the UK until January 6. The Czech Republic imposed stricter quarantine measures from people arriving from Britain.