The Government of Pedro Sánchez has decided cancel flights from the United Kingdom as of Tuesday except for Spanish citizens and residents, in response to the new strain of the coronavirus that the British country suffers, much more contagious. After the cascade of suspensions of air connections decreed by more than 10 European countries, including France, Germany and Italy, the Executive had wanted to wait for the EU to give a “common” response, limiting itself to reinforcing the verification control of PCR tests in airports and ports, but this Monday it announced that it was adding to the cancellation of flights, something that also requested several regional presidents and the opposition.
The decision has been made in concert with Portugal. “Following the meeting of the European Union crisis mechanism, which today has analyzed the effects of the new strain of coronavirus detected in the United Kingdom and has asked that non-essential travel is avoided, the Government has decided to suspend from tomorrow the entry into Spanish territory of citizens from the United Kingdom, except for Spanish nationals or residents in Spain “, Moncloa sources have indicated.
“The measure has been taken after the need for coordinated action has been discussed in Brussels, as Spain claimed yesterday. Spain’s decision will also mean a tightening of controls at the Gibraltar border crossing, “continue the same sources, after the Government of Boris Johnson confirmed that the new variant of the coronavirus has been detected in the Rock, where the restrictions also They have hardened after the spike in infections over the last week.
“The President of the Government has just held a conversation about these common decisions with his counterpart, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa. Likewise, the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, has spoken with his colleague, the Portuguese Minister of Health, Marta Temido. For her part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, will immediately inform the British government and the European Commission of the decision, “they conclude in the Executive.
Netherlands, first country to close
He the first country to apply the bolt after the announcement of the strain was the Netherlands, from 6 in the morning of this Sunday, December 20 and until next January 1. “The Government is closely monitoring developments abroad and considering additional measures regarding other modes of transport. In the coming days, together with other member states, the Netherlands will explore the possibility of further limiting the risk of the new strain arriving. from the United Kingdom “, indicated in a statement the Executive led by Mark Rutte, who also suspended rail connections through the Eurostar line that covers the London-Brussels-Rotterdam-Amsterdam route.
The World Health Organization (WHO) called on its members in Europe to “strengthen their controls” against the new strain. “There are measures that can reduce the spread. We need to know what the risk is,” he said.
Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist at the WHO, explained in statements to the BBC that the organization has been in close contact with the British authorities exchanging information. “There are several studies underway” on the new strain. “We need to understand what this variant does and what are the implications“He also confirmed that cases of the variant had been found in the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia. According to the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), the new strain would have been detected also in Belgium. And the Ministry of Health Italian reported this Sunday that they have detected in Rome the case of a person infected with the new strain.
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