Denmark travel ban triggers amid coronavirus spreading fear escalates

Published on : Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The flights and ships travelling directly from Denmark, and accompanied freight, will no longer be able to land or dock at English ports. This overnight move was made in response to fears about the new spreading of COVID-19 from mink bred at Danish farms transmitting to humans. The travellers from Denmark lost U.K quarantine exemption in the early hours of Friday. This was followed on Saturday by an unprecedented outright ban on non-UK travellers from Denmark – and the requirement for flight crew arriving from there to self-isolate.

In its third successive early-morning announcement, the Department for Transport (DfT) has imposed more stringent rules than for any other country.

The statement read that passenger planes and ships travelling directly from Denmark, and accompanied freight, will no longer be able to land or dock at English ports. The truck drivers who have travelled from or through Denmark in the past two weeks can no longer enter England unless they live in the UK. The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to follow suit.

The DfT says the extended travel ban is in response to “health authorities in Denmark reporting widespread outbreaks of coronavirus in mink farms, with a variant strain of the virus spreading to some local communities. But the Danish foreign minister, Jeppe Kofod, has questioned the UK’s reaction. In careful diplomatic language on Saturday he called the travel ban “drastic. In a statement, Mr Kofod said: “The World Health Organisation is not recommending restrictions on international travel in this situation, and is recognising the steps taken by the Danish authorities. They are currently reaching out to ensure that any relevant information is shared with the British authorities.

The travel ban and expanded self-isolation requirements will be reviewed after a week. The new flight ban will only affect SAS, which normally flies between Copenhagen and London Heathrow. British Airways, Ryanair and Loganair yesterday grounded flights between Denmark and the UK.

The latest government move comes as the NHS and Public Health England issued new instructions on treating patients who have been in Denmark in the previous two weeks.

Non-urgent treatment is to be postponed, while emergency cases must be kept isolated from other patients.

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