EU tells countries to lift UK travel bans over coronavirus mutation fears

Published: 22 December 2020

Post Desk : EU countries have been told to lift their travel bans on the UK to allow essential journeys and minimise trade disruption.

Dozens of countries have blocked people arriving from Britain over fears about the new coronavirus variant that is said to be much more transmittable.
France has gone a step further by stopping lorry drivers crossing the Channel, creating chaos on the approach to Dover.

Following talks, the EU Commission said in a statement it was “important to take swift temporary precautionary action” to limit the spread of COVID-19.

But it added: “Flight and train bans should be discontinued given the need to ensure essential travel and avoid supply chain disruptions.”

The EU commissioner for justice, Didier Reynders, added that “blanket travel bans should not prevent thousands of EU and UK citizens from returning to their homes” in the run up to Christmas.

Germany was considering extending its ban on travellers arriving from the UK to 6 January, with exceptions for German nationals or residents from 1 January, Reuters reported earlier.

Separate bilateral negotiations are ongoing in a bid to restart travel to France, given the big backlog of lorries piling up in Kent waiting to board trains and ferries to cross the Channel.

Sky News understands a deal could be struck today and see rapid-turnaround lateral flow tests being conducted on lorry drivers with the help of the military.