Covid: Flights shut down as EU discusses UK virus threat


ISLAMABAD, December 21 (online): EU officials are discussing a joint response to a new, more infectious Covid-19 variant in the UK, which has sparked travel bans by many countries.
Canada and India joined European states in blocking flights from the UK while Europe-bound train services via the Channel Tunnel have been halted.
The new variant is said to be up to 70% more transmissible but there is no evidence that it is more deadly.
There is also no proof to suggest that it reacts differently to vaccines.
French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said a protocol would be agreed within hours at the European Council meeting of government representatives to “ensure that movement from the UK can resume”.
There is an appetite in Brussels for a more co-ordinated response partly because the EU felt that at the beginning of the pandemic earlier in the year the member states had adopted an “every-country-for-itself” approach which threatened the very idea of European co-operation, BBC Europe Correspondent Kevin Connolly writes.