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Spain also suspends its flights and the United Kingdom is isolated due to the new strain of coronavirus

At the end of last January, when the coronavirus was spreading across China but had not yet reached Europe, British Airways decided to suspend all its flights with the Asian country. It was the first airline to take this measure, which was to last until March. By then the virus had already roamed Europe, and today, a year later and in the middle of the second wave of the pandemic, it is the British country that is practically isolated from the world because of a new strain originated in its territory.

The Government of Spain has decided today to join the twenty countries that, between yesterday and today, have suspended flights from the United Kingdom. Restrict also the traffic from tomorrow Tuesday, Except for Spanish citizens and residents, as reported by the Secretary of State for Communication.

That is to say, flights in general are not prohibited, but the entry of people except for the aforementioned exceptions, they explain from the Foreign Ministry. Aena had about 200 flights scheduled for today with departure or destination to the United Kingdom at one of the Spanish airports that it manages. For the Canary Islands, above all, it is a blow, since one out of every two tourists that receives on these dates (it is in high season) is British.

The measure, which aims to prevent the new strain originating in the country from spreading across Europe, it has been taken in concert with Portugal. Spain had expressed yesterday in Brussels the need to take coordinated measures with the EU when it comes to banning flights or closing borders, to avoid what happened in the first wave, but it has not finally been possible to reach a consensus. Spain had strengthened since yesterday the control of PCR tests for travelers arriving from the United Kingdom.

Today the first vice president of the Government, Carmen Calvo, had called for tranquility, ensuring that Spain “has been protected for a long time” by the requirement to present a PCR test refusal to enter our territory. This has been requested since November 23, that is, for only one month.

Isolate the strain

In a matter of 24 hours, the United Kingdom has already been practically isolated, after yesterday Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium suspended flights. Currently more than twenty countries have adopted restrictions on flights and transport from the country.

They are, in addition to those mentioned, France, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia. All have announced measures to prevent the entry of the new strain. Germany will only allow freight transport and Greece has imposed a quarantine on citizens coming from this country.

Spain has been one of the last to take the measure. It will also strengthen border control with Gibraltar, where a case of this strain has been confirmed.

They have also suspended the entry of passengers from the United Kingdom Russia, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Estonia, Croatia, Macedonia, Canada, Hong Kong and Turkey.

Traffic with Europe

Breath’s, some countries have restricted air traffic with Europe. This is the case of Saudi Arabia, which suspended international flights and arrivals by land or sea for a week since Sunday, extendable to two, reports AFP.

Peru has suspended flights from Europe while Israel also decided today to veto the entry of foreigners, in addition to ordering that all Israelis returning from abroad be placed in strict quarantine in hotels.

The cut in air traffic with the UK has a direct impact on the air sector. The economic impact of the first wave of the pandemic began, in fact, before it reached Europe, with the aforementioned suspension of flights to China by British, which belongs to the IAG group, also owner of Iberia. The shares of the Hispanic-British group have plummeted today on the stock market by more than 8%.

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