Sh Rasheed wants ban on UK flights as second variant sends UK in isolation

By: AFP      Published: 04:54 PM, 21 Dec, 2020
Sh Rasheed wants ban on UK flights as second variant sends UK in isolation
Empty lanes for arriving vehicles are pictured at the Port of Dover in Kent, south east England on December 21, 2020, as a string of countries banned travellers all but unaccompanied freight arriving from the UK, due to the rapid spread of a more-infectious new coronavirus strain. AFP

Pakistan’s interior minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad Monday said he wanted the government to ban the flights to and from the United Kingdom over the dealy second variant of the coronavirus.

Countries around the world have begun banning flights and travellers from Britain as London admitted that a more-infectious new coronavirus strain was spreading "out of control".

Sh Rasheed during a media talk in Islamabad he also wanted the same ban to be put on place on the UK but he has no authority to do so.

However, he said he would give this suggestion to the government and could even attend the NCOC meeting who has the authority to take and implement this decision.

Here are the places that have announced travel bans so far.

Russia: Russia is the latest country to ban flights from the United Kingdom for one week.

India: India suspended all flights from the United Kingdom from midnight until December 31, saying that anyone arriving from Britain on transit flights would be also tested.

Poland: Poland, which like India has a large diaspora population in Britain, also said that flights from the UK were being banned from midnight.

Hong Kong: The former British colony is banning all flights arriving from the United Kingdom from midnight, and the quarantine of passengers who arrived from Britain in the last fortnight is being extended. All international arrivals must already spend 14 days in isolation in a hotel.

France: France has halted all travel from Britain for 48 hours from midnight, including anyone transporting goods "by road, air, sea or rail". The ban on everything but unaccompanied freight comes as companies scramble to shift merchandise across the Channel with days to go until Britain leaves the EU trade bloc. French Prime Minister Jean Castex's office said the 48-hour period would offer time to coordinate a joint EU response that would ultimately allow travel from the UK to resume "with compulsory testing on departure".

Germany: Germany also halted air links with the UK from midnight, with the ban initially slated to last until December 31. Cargo flights will be exempt. A government source told AFP that Berlin is already "working on measures" to extend the suspension into January.

Netherlands: All passenger flights from Britain to the Netherlands have been banned until January 1. One case of the new strain has been found in the country, the health ministry added.

Ireland: Flights from Britain from midnight were banned for at least 48 hours. The country shares a highly-porous 499-kilometre (310-mile) border with the UK.

Italy: Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said that he had signed a decree "which blocks flights from Great Britain and prohibits entry into Italy of people who have stayed there during the last 14 days". Anyone in Italy who recently travelled from Britain must be tested, the statement added. The new strain has been found in one person in Italy who recently returned from the UK.

Rest of Europe: Elsewhere in Europe, Belgium banned flights from the UK for 24 hours, Finland barred flights for two weeks and Switzerland stopped them until further notice. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have halted flights, with Croatia suspending them for 48 hours. Norway and Denmark banned flights for 48 hours. Bulgaria said flights to and from Britain would be suspended until January 31. Romania is banning all flights to and from the UK for two weeks from Monday afternoon.

Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada would ban all UK flights for 72 hours. In a tweet, he added those who had already arrived from Britain on Sunday would be subject to secondary screenings and other "advanced measures".

Turkey: Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that flights from Britain, Denmark -- where nine cases of the new strain have been detected -- the Netherlands and South Africa would be suspended.

Iran: Iran's health ministry has ordered flights from Britain suspended for two weeks.

Israel: Israel said it was barring entry to foreign citizens travelling from Britain, Denmark and South Africa. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office also announced tough quarantine rules for Israelis returning home from those nation.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia said it was halting all flights and entry through land and sea ports for at least a week, with the option to extend for a further week. Passengers who arrived in the kingdom from Europe -- or any country where the new strain was detected -- will be required to self isolate for two weeks and undergo testing.

Kuwait: Kuwait has added Britain to a list of "high-risk" nations and banned flights.

El Salvador: El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele said that anyone who had been in Britain or South Africa in the past 30 days will not be allowed to enter the country.

Argentina: Argentina has banned flights from the UK. It said the last flight from Britain would arrive in the country on Monday.

Chile: Chile is suspending flights from the UK from Tuesday. The government said anyone without a Chilean residence permit who had been in Britain in the past two weeks would be barred from entry into the country.

Morocco: Morocco banned all flights to the UK from Sunday.

Oman: Oman has also suspended all the international flights and arrivals through port and land for one week.