Covid-19: Boris Johnson to chair emergency meeting amid travel bans

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Source: BBC

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The prime minister will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee later after France closed its border with the UK for 48 hours.

The move, announced on Sunday, means no lorries or ferry passengers will be able to sail from the port of Dover.

France said the action was necessary because of the prevalence of a new variant of coronavirus in the UK.

Nations including Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Irish Republic, Turkey and Canada are suspending UK flights.

Switzerland has also suspended UK flights, and Hong Kong will do so from midnight.

Austria is also set to bring in a ban, while Bulgaria has suspended flights to and from the UK from midnight. Unlike the short-term measures in many other nations, its ban lasts until 31 January.

European Union member states are due to meet in Brussels to discuss a co-ordinated response.

Coronavirus cases in the UK rose by 35,928 on Sunday – nearly double the number recorded seven days previously.

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And it was announced that a further 326 people died within 28 days of testing positive, bringing the nation’s total to 67,401.

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