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Spread of new Coronavirus strain; Britain became completely isolated

DUBLIN: Following the new COVID-19 outbreak, Britain became isolated as various neighbouring countries closed their borders, cancelled flights, and moved towards prevention. With Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirming the severity of the new COVID-19 strain, neighbouring countries have pushed towards various preventive steps. While some have set up police patrols across the border, some other countries have suspended air and train services.

Britain has been completely isolated since yesterday. The situation is expected to worsen today and tomorrow. A meeting of the government’s Cobra civil contingencies committee, chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is being convened today to assess the situation.

Several countries, including Ireland and France, have canceled flights to the UK. The Eurotunnel was also completely closed from 10pm on Sunday. The ferry service operates for freight to Ireland. Italy, Belgium, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands have banned visitors from the UK.

Ireland’s transport minister, Eamon Ryan has said that the UK government has tightened its restrictions and that Ireland needs to step up its defense. “This new strain of coronavirus, which they have identified, seems to have a much higher transmission rate. On a precautionary basis its right for us to follow up on the Dutch, Belgium, Italian and other governments will do the same,” he said.

French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari tweeted that all traffic from the UK would be suspended for 48 hours. Restrictions have been in place in the Netherlands since yesterday morning following tough measures imposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London and surrounding areas on Saturday.

Eurostar trains will no longer run between Belgium and the UK from today. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced a 24-hour ban on flights from midnight on Sunday. No trains will run between London, Brussels and Amsterdam.

Shortly after the Belgian announcement, Italy’s foreign minister announced a suspension of flights to and from the UK.

Austria has announced that it will suspend flights from the UK, but it is not clear when this will take effect.

At the same time, the Czech Republic imposed strict quarantine measures on people coming from the UK.

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