Belgium bars travel from UK over new coronavirus strain - VRT

FILE PHOTO: Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo holds a news conference after a government meeting to announce new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related restrictions in Brussels, Belgium December 18, 2020. Benoit Doppagne/Pool via Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium will close its borders to planes and trains coming from the United Kingdom to prevent importing a new strain of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Alexander de Croo told the VRT broadcaster on Sunday.

The ban on incoming travel from Britain covers Eurostar services via the Channel Tunnel and will take effect for at least 24 hours from midnight on Sunday, VRT said.

Belgium was also in touch with France over road transit passengers from Britain, VRT said, a day after the neighbouring Netherlands also banned flights carrying passengers from Britain over coronavirus.

Britain on Saturday tightened its COVID-19 restrictions, saying a new strain of the virus was responsible for spiralling infection numbers.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Hugh Lawson