Germany puts more curbs on travel from UK

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Angela Merkel; Germany takes hit in economy, coronavirus, face mask
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived early for Sunday’s talks

Germany has expanded its ban on passenger flights from the UK to forbid passenger transport by rail, bus and ship.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said the expanded measure took effect at midnight, a day after flights were halted. A similar measure applies to South Africa, where a new variant of the coronavirus also has been detected.

The measures apply through to January 6th. There are exceptions for freight and mail transport, and for medical and humanitarian flights.

A string of European and other countries halted air travel from Britain because of a new and seemingly more contagious strain of the coronavirus in England.

A leading German virologist who was initially sceptical about reports that the strain was much more contagious voiced concern after seeing more data.

Christian Drosten, a professor of virology at Berlin’s Charite hospital, tweeted that “unfortunately it doesn’t look good”.

But Dr Drosten added: “What is positive is that cases with the mutation so far only increased in areas where the overall incidence was high or rising. So contact reduction also works against the spread of the mutation.”

Meanwhile, Turkey has identified and quarantined 4,603 airline passengers who arrived from the United Kingdom on and after December 14th.

Flights from the UK, South Africa, Denmark and the Netherlands were suspended on Sunday evening in response to a new strain of coronavirus said to be circulating there.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted that 335 passengers flying from those countries at the time of Sunday’s announcement were tested for the virus on arrival in Turkey and isolated.

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