Which countries have hit Britain with travel bans over new virus strain?

More and more countries around the world are restricting travel from Britain and elsewhere amid concerns about new strains of coronavirus, as their governments analyse test results and try to find ways to protect their populations and hospital systems.

The restrictions focus mainly on the UK, which imposed strict new lockdown measures on Saturday night because of what it described as the unusually rapid spread of a new strain there.

A few other European countries have confirmed cases of the virus variant, and another strain considered especially infectious has been identified in South Africa.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

Here is a look at various restrictions so far:


– France: Banned all passenger and cargo traffic from Britain for 48 hours, the toughest restrictions so far. The ban is set to end at midnight Tuesday and applies to flights and traffic via the tunnel beneath the English Channel.

– Belgium: The other country that connects with Britain via the tunnel banned all passenger travel, including transit passengers, for 24 hours starting Sunday at midnight.

– Germany: No passenger flights from Britain allowed to land through December 31.

– The Netherlands: Banned flights from the UK at least until the new year.

– Spain: Will suspend flights from Britain as of Tuesday and until further notice, except for those carrying Spanish citizens or people with Spanish residency. Spain will also step up border controls with Gibraltar, the British colony on Spain's south-western coast.

– Switzerland: Banned foreign nationals arriving from the UK and South Africa and ordered those who arrived since December 14 to go into quarantine.

– Italy: Suspending flights from and to Britain until January 6. The move also forbids entrance into Italy by anyone who has transited through Britain in the last 14 days.

– Russia: Will suspend air traffic with the UK for one week starting Tuesday.

– Austria: No passenger flights allowed to land from Britain through to January 1.

– Denmark: Suspended flights from Britain until 0900 GMT on Wednesday.

– Sweden: Suspended all incoming travel from Britain and Denmark until further notice.

– Norway: Banned incoming flights from Britain starting Monday for 48 hours.

– Croatia: Announced on Sunday night a 48-hour ban on flights from Britain.

– Bulgaria: Banned all flights to and from Britain until January 31.

– Malta: Banned flights to and from Britain until further notice.

– Finland: Suspending flights with Britain; national carrier Finnair ceased all UK flights for two weeks.

Poland, Portugal, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, North Macedonia: Banned flights from Britain until further notice.

The Middle East:

– Israel: Initially banned flights from Britain, Denmark and South Africa then further tightened restrictions on Monday, forbidding any foreign nationals from entering the country for 10 days.

– Oman: Suspended all entry to the country by foreigners and halted international passenger flights, starting on Tuesday for one week. Cargo flights are exempted.

– Saudi Arabia: Suspended all international passenger flights and land and sea arrivals for a week or until clearer details emerged about the more contagious variant of the virus identified in Britain. The suspension will not affect cargo flights and supply chains.

– Iran: Suspended flights to the UK for two weeks starting on Monday. All Iranian planes were ordered to return to Iran from the UK without passengers.

– Turkey: Suspended flights from Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands and South Africa temporarily, until further notice.

– Jordan: Banned flights from the UK until January 3, both direct and indirect flights.


– Sudan: Banned travellers arriving from Britain, the Netherlands and South Africa, starting on Monday and until January 5.

– Tunisia: Suspended air links with Britain, South Africa and Australia, from this Monday and until further notice. Anyone who has resided or transited through these countries will not be allowed access to Tunisian territory.

The Americas:

– Canada: Banning flights from Britain.

– United States: The governor of New York state said he wanted a ban on flights from Britain to New York City.

– Peru: Suspended commercial flights from Europe for the next two weeks.

– El Salvador: Banned entry to anyone traveling from Britain and South Africa.

– Chile: Suspended direct flights with Britain and barred the entry of foreigners who had been in Britain in the past two weeks.

– Argentina: Suspended commercial flights to and from Britain.


– Hong Kong: Banned all flights from Britain.

– Pakistan: Imposed temporary ban on travellers arriving from Britain starting from Tuesday and through to December 29. Pakistani nationals will be allowed to return home from Britain provided their Covid-19 tests are negative.

– India: Suspended flights from Britain until December 31.