Sweden to ban travel from UK over new Covid strain

Sweden to ban travel from UK over new Covid strain
File photo of Heathrow Airport in London. Photo: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth
Sweden will join a growing list of countries to ban travel from the UK over concerns of a new Covid strain, the Swedish government confirmed on Sunday.

The Swedish government is expected to formally make the decision on Monday, but Interior Minister Mikael Damberg confirmed to public broadcaster SVT that it will “come into force as soon as possible”.

Few details were immediately available on Sunday, but SVT reports that it will apply to travel by car, ferry and flight. SVT further reports it is unclear at this stage whether or not Swedish citizens, who cannot be stopped from entering the country, will have to quarantine on arrival.

The new variant of the coronavirus is believed to have first appeared in the London and Kent areas of the UK in September, and is reported to be up to 70 percent more contagious than other strains. But based on what scientists know so far, the variant does not appear to cause more serious illness than other kinds of coronavirus.

The variant was cited by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the reason behind last-minute changes to health restrictions in London and South East England, announced on Saturday, which have seen thousands of people unable to travel as planned over Christmas.

(article continues below)

See also on The Local:

Following the UK's announcement on Saturday, the Dutch government announced on Sunday morning that it was banning all flights from the UK until January 1st.

The Belgian, Bulgarian and Italian governments followed suit, with Italy banning all flights from the UK and the entry of anyone who had been in the UK in the last 14 days. France, Germany and Ireland have also announced they will suspend UK flights.

The Swedish Public Health Agency said on Sunday that it was monitoring the situation, but that the new variant of the virus had so far not been detected in Sweden.


Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.