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Europe

Netherlands ban flights from UK after detecting new coronavirus strain

FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face masks stand, as Schiphol Airport reduces its flights due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Amsterdam, Netherlands April 2, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

(Reuters) - Netherlands will ban flights carrying passengers from the United Kingdom from Sunday as Britain detected a new coronavirus strain.

A travel ban will remain in place until Jan. 1, the government said in a statement early Sunday, adding that it is monitoring developments and is considering additional measures regarding other modes of transport.

Netherlands added that in early December, sampling of a case in the country had revealed the same virus strain as that found in the UK.

In measures to control the spread of virus, government issued a “do not travel” advisory, unless it is absolutely essential.

The ban came after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and scientists announced on Saturday that the new strain of coronavirus identified in the country is up to 70% more infectious.

Johnson also said London and southeast England, which are currently in the highest level of a three-tier system of rules, would now be placed in a new Tier 4 level.

Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry

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