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21 Dec, 2020 13:10

Russia halts flights to UK for a week as world reacts to news of newly detected British Covid-19 mutation

Russia halts flights to UK for a week as world reacts to news of newly detected British Covid-19 mutation

Russia is joining the group of countries ending air traffic to the UK, with flights between the nations to end on December 22. Britain is one of a few countries to have resumed regular flights to Russia since Covid-19 appeared.

The decision was made after a weekend announcement by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson that a new mutation had been detected, which could spread 70 percent quicker than the original version of the virus.

On Sunday, individual European Union states began announcing flight bans from Britain, with France, the Netherlands, and Ireland stopping passenger ferries. In the last 24 hours, the list of countries restricting travel from the UK has grown to over 20.

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“The response center for preventing the importation and spread of Covid-19 made a decision to temporarily halt the air service with the United Kingdom,” the Russian facility revealed to the press. “Restrictions will come into force from 00 hours 00 minutes of December 22, 2020 and will be in effect for a week.”

Air traffic between Russia and Great Britain resumed on August 1, after all international flights were canceled on March 27. Before regular flights restarted in late summer, there were irregular repatriation flights operating once or twice a week.

Earlier on Monday, Russian MP Dmitry Ionin accused the country's coronavirus HQ of being slow to respond to the British news, noting that “there is a real danger of filling Moscow with carriers of the new strain of coronavirus,”  as Russians in London return home for the holidays.

Also on rt.com Creators of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine sign Putin-backed deal with UK pharma giant AstraZeneca in bid to boost efficacy

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