21 Dec, 2020 12:30 am

UK cut off over fears about new COVID strain By Reuters

UK cut off over fears about new COVID strain By Reuters
'Sick man of Europe': UK cut off over fears about new COVID strain

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London p By Gerhard Mey and Ben Makori DOVER, England (Reuters) - The United Kingdom stood shut off from the rest of Europe on Monday after allies cut transport ties over fears of a new coronavirus strain, sowing chaos for families, truckers and supermarkets just days before the Brexit cliff edge.France shut its border to arrivals of people and trucks from the United Kingdom, closing off one of the most important trade arteries with mainland Europe, a step Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said was surprising.Hong Kong is also due to ban all flights arriving from the United Kingdom from midnight, becoming the first city in Asia to do so.The British government triggered plans it had for stacking up trucks in the southeast county of Kent - part of its plans for potential disruption when the United Kingdom exits the EU's orbit with - or without - a trade deal at 2300 GMT on Dec.

Britain's Shapps said getting the bans lifted as swiftly as possible was his priority but that given British preparations for the end of the Brexit transition period, the country was well positioned for disruption.Shapps said Britain had done some of the best global analysis of the mutations of the virus so it was simply seeing what was already at large in other countries.

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