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UPDATE- Travel chaos in Europe – Which countries have imposed transport bans on UK?

Many countries around Europe have suspended travel links from the UK due to a new, more contagious strain of Covid-19, while others intend to do so. Here's the latest on the new travel chaos around Europe.

UPDATE- Travel chaos in Europe - Which countries have imposed transport bans on UK?
AFP

France 

France on Sunday halted all travel from Britain for 48 hours from midnight, including journeys “related to goods transport by road, air, sea or rail”.

The ban on everything but unaccompanied freight comes as companies scramble to shift merchandise across the Channel with days to go until Britain leaves the EU trade bloc.

Prime Minister Jean Castex's office said the 48-hour period would offer time to coordinate a joint EU response that would ultimately allow travel from the UK to resume “with compulsory testing on departure”.

READ MORE: France's UK travel ban – who is affected and what happens next?

Germany 

Germany halted all air links with the UK from midnight on Sunday, with the ban initially slated to last until December 31, Health Minister Jens Spahn told ARD public television.

Cargo flights will be exempt.

A government source told AFP that Berlin is already “working on measures” to extend the suspension into January, when the end of Britain's post-Brexit transition period means it will no longer be covered by EU rules that enable the flight ban.

READ MORE: Germany halts air links with UK over new Covid strain

Italy

On Sunday Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said that he had signed a decree “which blocks flights from Great Britain and prohibits entry into Italy of people who have stayed there during the last 14 days”.

Anyone in Italy who recently travelled from Britain must be tested, the statement added.

The new strain has been found in one person in Italy who recently returned from the UK.

EXPLAINED: What you need to know about Italy’s UK coronavirus travel ban

Sweden

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.

Austria

The Austria Health Ministry announced on Sunday that it will ban flights from the UK from landing at its airports after a more infectious mutation of the coronavirus was detected in Britain.

The ministry told the APA news agency that it was planning a ban, but details on when it will come into force and how low it will last for are yet to be announced.

Denmark

All passenger flights from the United Kingdom to Denmark have been temporarily suspended due to the discovery of a faster-spreading variant of Covid-19.

Denmark will ban incoming flights from the UK for an initial 48 hours, effective at 10am on Monday.

The decision was made to prevent a new strain of Covid-19 found in the UK from spreading, health minister Magnus Heunicke stated on Twitter.

Norway

All passenger flights from the United Kingdom to Norway have been temporarily suspended with immediate effect due to the discovery of a faster-spreading variant of Covid-19.

The measure is effective for an initial two days but can be extended, NRK reports.

A number of other restrictions are to be placed on travellers arriving in Norway from the UK.

Health minister Bent Høie said that authorities in the Nordic countries have begun contacting persons who have travelled to Norway from the UK during the last 14 days. SMS messages have been sent to relevant persons, according to the minister.

READ ALSO: These are Norway's rules for recent arrivals from the UK

Switzerland

Switzerland's Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) suspended air links between the UK and Switzerland from midnight Sunday.

South Africa is also included in the ban, as the new virus variant is spreading through that country as well.

“The new strain is significantly more contagious than the known kind,” FOCA said in a press release on Sunday. 

Spain

Spain and Portugal on Monday decided to join other countries in suspending flights from the UK due to fears over the new Covid-19 strain. 

 

In a statement issued on Monday afternoon, the Spanish government announced its decision to ban flights from the UK. 

Flights will be suspended from Tuesday, December 22nd. Only Spanish citizens and those resident in Spain will be allowed to enter the country.

READ ALSO: Spain suspends UK flights but will allow residents to return

Ireland

Dublin said in a statement that all flights arriving from Britain from midnight Sunday would be banned for at least 48 hours.

Netherlands

All passenger flights from Britain to the Netherlands have been banned until January 1, the Dutch government said.

One case of the new strain has been found in the country, the health ministry added.

Norway

Norway was set to make a decision on whether to ban travel links to the UK on Monday.

Rest of Europe

Elsewhere in Europe, Belgium banned flights from the UK for 24 hours and Finland barred flights for two weeks

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have halted flights from the UK.

Bulgaria said flights to and from Britain would be suspended from midnight Sunday until January 31.

Romania has banned all flights to and from the UK for two weeks, beginning on Monday afternoon.

Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said the country would “temporarily suspend passenger air traffic from the UK for 48 hours”.

Member comments

  1. Yesterday there were packed terminals at London airports. People using a loophole by flying from London to Belfast in northern Ireland then travelling onwards to Dublin to catch flights all over Europe. There is no ban on leaving Ireland. This is bad.

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TRAVEL NEWS

How Flyr’s bankruptcy will impact airline passengers in Norway 

Norwegian airline Flyr has filed for bankruptcy, with the knock-on effects expected to affect more than those who had tickets booked with the doomed airline. Here's what you should know and what you can do if affected. 

How Flyr's bankruptcy will impact airline passengers in Norway 

Flyr filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday after attempts to secure further financing failed to come to fruition. As a result of the bankruptcy, staff will be laid off, all flights will be cancelled, and ticket sales have been suspended. 

When an airline cancels a flight, customers are due a refund. However, this can be complicated when a company goes bankrupt, as it usually means the company doesn’t have the funds to pay out refunds. 

Norway’s consumer rights watchdog, the Norwegian Consumer Council, has advised that most people who bought a ticket with the doomed firm may still be able to get a refund. 

“But for Flyr’s customers, they have paid with either a debit or credit card and then the card issuer is responsible. Then they get the money back,” Thomas Iversen from the Norwegian Consumer Council told public broadcaster NRK

The bad news is for those who didn’t pay with a card, as they are unlikely to get anything back. This is because customers with small amounts of money to be refunded (compared to other debtors) are pushed to the back of recovery queues. 

For card customers to get the money back, they will need to issue a claim to Flyr and then one to the card issuer to get the money refunded. 

“As a consumer, you must then make a claim to Flyr, and then the claim to the card issuer. Then you get your money back. With some, it goes quickly. With others, it takes longer,” he advised. 

Both debit and credit card holders can claim a refund, as Visa and Mastercard debit services provide money-back guarantees if a merchant is unable to refund a purchase due to bankruptcy.  

However, several insurance companies have said that it would be unlikely that they would be able to claim back money spent on Flyr tickets. 

“No travel insurance covers bankruptcy. Had they done so, the insurance premium would have been completely different from what we have today,” communications director Andreas Handeland at If Europeiske Reiseforsikring said. 

Knock-ons for travellers not booked with Flyr

Unfortunately, other travellers could be affected by the collapse of Flyr. Aviation analyst Frode Steen has said that the bankruptcy will affect the Norwegian market. 

“Inland, it doesn’t mean anything, but on the Spain routes and the classic tourist routes, there will now be less competition, and there will be less space. The combination often results in a higher ticket price,” he explained to the business and financial site E24

Flight analyst Hans Jørgen Elnæs at Winair told E24 that Flyr’s downfall would increase ticket prices as it often helped push prices down. 

“There is no doubt that Flyr has been a price pusher domestically in Norway and partly outside Europe,” Elnæs said. 

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