The UK has been cut off from large parts of Europe and other countries around the world – as authorities imposed bans on passengers due to a mutant coronavirus strain.
Among the authorities imposing travel restrictions on passengers from the UK are: France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark, Turkey, Canada and Hong Kong.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Italy is one of the number of countries to have placed a travel ban on the UK [/caption]
Ministers also debated a temporary ban on travel from Great Britain to Northern Ireland because of the new Covid variant, with further discussions expected today.
While experts do not believe the new variant of the virus — one of several — is more lethal or will affect the impact of vaccines, it may be up to 70 percent more transmissible, according to early data from the UK.
The European Union’s crisis team was to meet today to discuss a coordinated response to the new virus strain.
A German government source said restrictions on air travel from Britain could be adopted by the entire 27-member EU and that countries were also discussing a joint response over sea, road and rail links.
The rapid response thwarted travel around the world just as families were preparing to unite for Christmas.
“Please help us leave!” said one British traveller who was among dozens held overnight in German airports, unable to leave until virus tests come back negative.
Countries that have banned or are considering banning travel from UK
These are the current countries with travel bans on the UK, please note that some of the shorter bans could be extended.
France put in place a 48-hour ban on travel from Britain at midnight on December 20.
Flights between Britain and Germany are banned until 11pm on December 31.
All flights between the UK and Italy were suspended from December 20. Anyone entering the country from elsewhere who has been in the UK over the last 14 days will also be barred from entering.
Flights from the UK are banned from midnight on December 22 until December 31.
All flights from the UK are banned until 9am on December 23.
Flights from Britain are banned until at least midnight on December 23.
Flights from the UK are banned until at least midnight on December 23.
Flights from the UK are banned until January 1.
Plane and Eurostar travel are banned until midnight on December 21 at the earliest.
Flight ban to be imposed on flights from the UK from midnight, December 22.
Sweden have announced they will impose restrictions on travel from the UK, but are yet to announce a specific date and time.
Finland will be restricting travel from the UK from 21 December until January 4.
Switzerland have announced they will be suspending air travel to and from the UK, but are yet to announce a specific date and time.
Bulgaria will be restricting air travel between Bulgaria and the UK until January 31.
Romania will be banning flights to and from the UK from 7pm on December 21 for 14 days.
Estonia has banned flights to and from the UK until January 1.
Latvia has banned flights to and from the UK until January 1.
Lithuania has restricted travel from the UK until 11.59pm on December 31.
Luxembourg banned all flights between the UK and Luxembourg from midnight on December 20 for an initial 24 hour period and there has not been a new update as yet.
Flights between Poland and the UK are currently suspended, with no set end date as yet.
Portugal has restricted passenger travel to and from the UK, regardless of nationality, with the exception of Portuguese citizens and those legally resident from 20 December, with no set end date as yet.
Croatia restricted travel for air passengers from the UK for 48 hours from 11pm on December 20, and there is a chance that could be extended.
Turkey have announced they will be suspending air travel to and from the UK, but are yet to announce a specific date and time.
From December 22, travellers will not be allowed to enter Kuwait if they have been in the UK during the preceding 14 days.
From December 22, travellers who had visited the UK for more than two hours within the past 14 days will be denied entry to Hong Kong.
While India and Hong Kong joined the move to suspend travel from the UK, US officials signalled they were holding off for now while Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was confident existing 14-day quarantine rules for arrivals were sufficient to handle the threat.
The flow of goods from France was also disrupted after Paris imposed a 48-hour blockade on people and lorries crossing the English Channel — just as companies are racing to shift merchandise before Britain finally quits European Union trade structures.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was to hold a crisis meeting about the situation today to discuss “in particular the steady flow of freight into and out of the UK”, a spokesman said.
France put in place a 48-hour ban on travel from Britain at midnight on December 20 [/caption]
The country’s critical south coast port of Dover said late Sunday it would close to all accompanied freight and passengers due to the French border restrictions “until further notice”.
Yet the Netherlands, another key sea route from Europe to Britain, confirmed its freight routes to the UK remained open despite banning all passenger ferries.
Concerns about the rapid spread of the disease were underlined with the publication of official figures showing there had been a further 35,928 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK as of 9am on Sunday.
According to travel expert Paul Charles, from the PC Agency, around 250,000 people will be affected by the travel bans.
Most read in Travel
TAKING THE ST MICK
Outrage as Ryanair encourages Brits to 'fly home' after gov bans travel
Chaos at Heathrow after Europe bans Brits over mutant Covid strain
NO JOLLY HOLIDAYS
Brits told not to travel outside UK at Christmas under new rules
OH LA LA
Couple give up life in UK to renovate French chateau with huge pool and pizza oven
Last-minute holidays to Dubai for winter sun from £305pp with no quarantining
Which UK airports offer holiday coronavirus tests and how much do they cost?
Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, advised Brits who were currently abroad to try and schedule an eariler flight home if possible,
He said: “Bans on travel to and from the UK will cause concern for many people currently abroad, who may now be worried about becoming stranded at Christmas.
“Travel back to the UK remains open for the most part, but that may change in the coming days. It’s worth coming home early if you can by taking advantage of your travel provider’s flexible booking policies, to prevent the risk of becoming stuck.”