The Turkish government announced yesterday that, like the authorities of many other countries, it has decided to ban passenger flights from Britain and other countries following the discovery of a new, even more contagious strain of the new coronavirus in the United Kingdom.
“Following the instructions of the President (of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan), in coordination with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, it was decided to impose a temporary suspension of flights from the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands and South Africa to our country,” he said. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca via Twitter.
The pandemic of the new coronavirus in Turkey as of yesterday Sunday amounted to 18,097 dead (+246 deaths in 24 hours) out of a total of 2,024,601 infections (+20,316 in 24 hours).
The governments of Argentina and Chile also announced yesterday Sunday that passenger flights to and from Britain will be suspended.
The Argentine Interior Ministry has clarified that the last flight from the United Kingdom that will be allowed to land before the measure takes effect is the one that is expected to arrive in Buenos Aires this morning.
The crew and passengers will be quarantined for seven days, he added.
The Chilean government has said it will ban all foreigners who are not permanent residents of the country who had been in the UK for the past 14 days from entering the country. The measure will take effect at midnight on Tuesday and will last for two weeks, according to Santiago.
Earlier yesterday, the Canadian government also announced that, like the authorities in many other countries, it had decided to suspend passenger flights from Britain.
In particular, passenger flights from the UK are suspended indefinitely. The suspension does not apply to cargo flights or cases where an aircraft needs to land for safety reasons.
The decision followed a meeting of cabinet members under Prime Minister Justin Trinto.
Opposition parties in Canada earlier in the day called on the Trinto government to immediately suspend flights from Britain, accusing it of being too late to close the border when the new coronavirus pandemic broke out.
Also on Sunday, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia suspended international flights and entry into its territory through land border crossings and ports for at least a week, following the discovery of a new SARS-CoV-2 executive in the United Kingdom.
The government “suspends all international flights – except in exceptional cases – for a period of one week, which may be extended for an additional week,” the SPA, the official Saudi news agency, quoted the interior ministry as saying.
The measures do not apply to aircraft operating international flights already in Saudi Arabia or those already licensed to depart, according to the SPA.
In addition, all passengers who have arrived from Europe and other areas where the new strain of the new coronavirus has been identified since 8 December have been called to solitary confinement for two weeks.
Saudi Arabia has launched a fifth large-scale campaign to vaccinate the population against the new coronavirus in three phases.
The first phase concerns the most vulnerable groups, people over 65, people who are obese or have serious chronic conditions, as well as people whose occupations expose them more to the virus.
Saudi Arabia, the most populous Gulf country (population 34 million), has been hit hardest by the pandemic: it has so far recorded more than 361,000 cases of SARS-CoV-2 and more than 6,000 deaths due to COVID. 19.
Source: AFP, REUTERS