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India, Poland, others suspend all flights to Britain due to new coronavirus strain

India, Poland, Norway, Finland and Denmark have suspended all direct flights from Britain with immediate effect, citing a quickly spreading variant of the coronavirus that was detected the country.

Boris Johnson
Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. Photo credit: AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali

All flights from Britain to India will be suspended, starting onTuesday, December 22, 2020 and lasting until December 31, says India.

Flights from India to Britain will also be temporarily suspended during the time.

In a tweet, the government said: “Considering the prevailing situation in UK, Government of India has decided that all flights originating from UK to India to be suspended till Dec. 31.

“This suspension to start 23.59 hours, Dec. 22. Consequently, flights from India to UK shall stand temporarily suspended during above said period.”

Also, Poland will suspend flights from Britain as of midnight (2300 GMT) on Monday, December 21 after a quickly spreading variant of the coronavirus was discovered in England, Polish government spokesperson Piotr Mueller said via Twitter.

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Polish Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska urged those who have arrived to Poland from Britain in recent days to visit their local epidemiologic station in order to receive a coronavirus test.

Britain is home to a sizeable Polish minority.

According to Home Office data, some 700,000 Poles living in Britain used the right to receive permanent residence in the country after the post-Brexit transition period ends.

Norway is stopping all direct flights from Britain with immediate effect, citing a quickly spreading variant of the coronavirus that was detected there

Initially, the measure would apply for 48 hours but could be extended, the health ministry said.

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“The aim is to get a better overview of the situation with the mutated virus and implement necessary measures,” Bent Hoie, Health Minister, said.

In addition, arrivals from Britain would be required to take a COVID-19 test within 24 hours after arrival in Norway and a new test no earlier than day 7 after entry from Britain.

People, who have arrived in Norway during the past 14-day period were also to take a COVID-19 test “as soon as possible.”

They were also to quarantine for 10 days, with no exceptions, and notify the municipality where they were staying.

Similarly, Finland and Denmark have announced bans on flights from Britain after a quickly spreading variant of the coronavirus was detected there.

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The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, Traficom, said the 14-day ban would run from noon on Monday (1000 GMT) until Jan. 4.

Finnish authorities said they have not detected any cases of the new virus strain.

Denmark’s 48-hour ban for flights from Britain would take effect at 10 am (0900 GMT) on Monday, two cabinet members tweeted.

The Danish State Serum Institute (SSI) has earlier said it has found nine cases of the new virus strain between mid-November and early December.

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