Many countries have been concerned about the potential risks that Christmas travel will bring during this year. Just as spikes from Thanksgiving have died down a bit in the United States, it is now on the fringe of not one, but two major holidays within a week. However, one nation that has been taking drastic measures is the UK.
Britain recently announced the emergence of a new variant of COVID-19, of which they are trying to prevent the spread. As such, the country is having a strict lockdown this holiday season, with many other nations adding new restrictions to rules that are already in place. Here are some of the changes.
In light of Britain’s new concerns, many EU nations scrambled to make immediate changes. As of Tuesday, though, British citizens should be able to return to Britain or the EU so long as they test negative for the virus or follow quarantine procedure. Most nations will try and allow cargo travel to continue unhindered, especially given the importance this holiday season.
Many of the European nations have lifted the blanket travel ban on British citizens, but a number of countries (such as the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia) currently are banning any travelers from Britain until further notice.
It should be noted that Britain is not the only country experiencing rogue strains of the Coronavirus. South Africa and a few of Britain’s European neighbors have also seen strains of this variant. However, the unified decision seems to be to keep Britain isolated, at least until the new year. Some nations plan to extend that delay. Most of the Middle East and Asia are also allied behind their European compatriots in banning travel to and from the UK at least until the new year, with some areas like Hong Kong marking the ban as “indefinite.”
One location that Brits can still fly to unhindered is the US. However, given the United States’ rising numbers across the board, it might not make for an ideal Christmas destination. Overall, it seems like people in the UK should prepare to hunker down for the holidays, and enjoy all the hot chocolate, mulled cider, and other treats they love. And while this Christmas may look different, by being careful this holiday, they can make sure everyone lives to see the next one.