ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has halted all travellers originating or from transiting the UK and passengers who have been to the UK in the last 14-days following the discovery of a new strain of the novel coronavirus in the country.
However, passengers who have already boarded the flight at the time of the directive will be permitted to land, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said.
All direct and offline flights have been instructed not to board passengers who have been to the UK in the last 14-days.
“In terms of Section 99 of the Civil Aviation Act NO 14 of 2010, all online and offline carriers are hereby directed that the passengers (in terms of the approvals granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka) originating from or transiting in England or passengers who have visited England within the last 14 days will not be permitted to disembark in Sri Lanka with immediate effect,” a CAA circular said.
The UK announced on Saturday that it had identified a new mutant variant of the coronavirus that can spread more quickly than earlier strains.
Reports said quoting Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, that evidence suggests the new strain shows a “significant, substantial increase in transmissibility.”
However, here’s “no evidence” so far to suggest it causes more severe disease, more hospitalisations or affects treatments and vaccines, he said.
The mutation was found after a surge of COVID-19 cases in the Eastern and Southern parts of England.
Over 1,000 COVID-19 cases with the new strain have been found.
Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium have also halted flights to the UK. (Colombo/Dec22/2020-sb)