Canada is suspending passenger flights from the UK for 72 hours, the Department of Health announced on Sunday, joining a growing list of countries banning British travelers to prevent the spread of a new strain of coronavirus out of the country.
The restrictions do not apply to cargo planes or planes landing for safety reasons. This emerges from an earlier notice from Transport Canada to the airmen that the move is “necessary for flight safety and the protection of the public”. The measures will take effect on Sunday at midnight (Monday at 0500 GMT).
Canadian officials, including the Prime Minister and Minister of Health, met on Sunday afternoon to discuss the new variant, which official figures say is up to 70% more transferable than the original.
“While no cases related to this new strain have been identified in Canada, it is still being determined whether this variant is present or has been previously observed in Canada,” the statement said.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday that the new strain had spiked the number of infections as his government tightened COVID-19 restrictions on London and the surrounding areas.
In Canada, the number of cases that started vaccination with the Pfizer Inc / BioNTech vaccine last week continues to increase. Canada reported a total of 507,795 cases of COVID-19 and 14,228 deaths, with 6,203 new cases emerging on Sunday.
Canadian media reported that Ontario, the country’s most populous province, would enter a nationwide lockdown on December 24th.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)