By Tony Winterburn • 23 December 2020 • 8:14
European Commission Urges EU nations to Lift UK Travel Ban.
The European Commission has urged EU nations to lift travel bans imposed on Britain to halt the spread of a coronavirus variant that has swept the UK and spurred global panic just as vaccines are being rolled out worldwide.
The new strain of the virus, which has also been detected in small numbers elsewhere, appears to spread more easily than other types, 70% faster, but there is no evidence it is more lethal or resistant to vaccines, according to experts.
Its discovery has nevertheless heightened fears that led dozens of countries around the world to suspend flights from the UK just out of precaution. With the bans unleashing travel chaos during the holiday season, the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, recommended lifting the border restrictions with Britain. They urged virus tests be carried out on passengers within 72 hours before travel- as per the French requirement.
“Flight and train bans should be discontinued given the need to ensure essential travel and avoid supply chain disruptions,” a statement from the EU executive said. Several EU member states are among those imposing flight, train and ferry bans on UK arrivals since Britain announced the discovery of the new strain of coronavirus.
The ban on arrivals in France has led to long tailbacks of freight trucks in southern England and has disrupted passenger travel in the run-up to Christmas. The first passengers and freight disembarked in the French port of Calais this morning, Dec. 23, with other ferries close behind. Eurostar service have also been resumed- but do not expect high traffic today.
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