Thousands of people have gathered on Monday at London’s Heathrow airport with the intention of leaving the country, following the announcement of the latest restrictions to stop the advance of the new Covid-19 strain in the capital and surrounding areas, as well as the imposition of a blockade of the borders of several countries at an international level for all transport coming from the United Kingdom.
Since last December 14th, the British nation has been warning of the appearance of VUI-202012/01, a “new variant” of SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that causes Covid-19), 70% more contagious than normal and with a much faster spread, although not more dangerous than the common one. A fact that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called “out of control”, and that has forced the government to tighten health restrictions, thus establishing last Saturday a strong confinement in those areas where the new mutation is spreading with some speed.
This detection has triggered a cascade of blockages and cancellations in transport worldwide. So much so that fifteen European countries have already banned the arrival of English flights at their borders.
As a result of this veto, the exodus of Londoners has increased to cause chaos at airports such as Heathrow, where a large number of users were queuing on Monday with the intention of leaving the country before the start of the new regulation.
Belgium, Austria, Latvia, Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Ireland, France, Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic, Finland, Denmark and Sweden have already announced the total closure of their borders.
Portugal, Germany and Malta, on the other hand, have opted for alternative measures, such as limiting access to nationals or citizens with permanent residence, allowing cargo planes to land or imposing a 14-day quarantine on those arriving from the United Kingdom, respectively.
At an international level, Turkey, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Hong Kong have added to the indefinite blockade of their borders due to the arrival of British citizens. Canada, for its part, also joins this measure, although it will only be maintained for 72 hours, while Saudi Arabia opts to suspend all international flights and close its borders for a week
Following the French suspension of freight and passenger traffic from the islands, between 600 and 1,000 transporters are trapped in the United Kingdom.
The British Association of Road Transporters (RHA, in English) has requested this Monday to the governments of the United Kingdom and France to find a solution to the border closure ordered by the French authorities, to prevent the fear of a possible shortage.