Travel has been halted from the United Kingdom from several countries after a mutant variation of the coronavirus that is highly transmissible sparked a new lockdown in London.
The AP reports: “France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and Bulgaria all announced restrictions on U.K. travel, hours after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Christmas shopping and gatherings in southern England must be canceled because of rapidly spreading infections blamed on the new coronavirus variant.”
Italy, however, has already identified the strain in a traveler from the UK: “The patient and his partner returned from the United Kingdom in the last few days with a flight that landed at Rome’s Fiumicino airport and were now in isolation, the ministry said.”
The NY Post adds: “Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday called it “reprehensible” and ‘grossly negligent’ to allow UK travelers to fly into JFK Airport without being tested despite a contagious new mutation of the coronavirus shutting down London. ‘Right now, this variant in the UK is getting on a plane and flying to JFK,’ Cuomo said in a call to reporters Sunday of the mutation UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned could be 70 percent more transmittable.”
U.S. Army scientists are studying the mutant variation of the coronavirus to see if the new vaccines are effective against the mutation.
CNN reports: “While there’s always a worry that a vaccine won’t work if a virus mutates significantly, the Walter Reed scientists still expect the vaccine will be effective against this new variant, said Dr. Nelson Michael, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. … On Thursday, the Walter Reed team started examining genetic sequences of the new UK variant posted onlineby British researchers.”