The government will impose a travel ban from the United Kingdom after the discovery of a new strain of coronavirus in the country.
Interior Minister Michael Damberg (S) said that an official decision will be made on Monday, when the ban will also be applied. But the shapes surrounding the ban are unclear.
We are preparing to take a decision on a travel ban from the UK. It should be able to take effect as soon as possible, Damberg tells SVT News.
The decision was made in light of the discovery in the country of a new strain of coronavirus that is said to be more contagious.
Swedish Public Health Agency Director-General Johann Karlsson believes the travel ban is a reasonable precaution in the situation that has arisen, he wrote on the authority’s website.
On Monday, the authority will complement the government’s decision with rules for those arriving from the UK in the near future, that is, Swedish citizens who cannot be denied entry, and who have already recently arrived in Sweden.
Discover in Denmark
According to the Swedish Public Health Agency, it is too early to say whether the new viral mutation is more contagious, despite reports of an increase in infections of up to 70%.
Johan Karlsson wrote: “The new alternative already exists in a number of EU countries and it is not at all impossible that it actually exists in Sweden, but we have not yet been able to confirm it.”
The mutation was also detected in Denmark, where there are currently nine confirmed cases, according to Radio Danmarks.
“This variant, VUI 202012/01, which is now observed in the UK, is not currently found in Sweden, but the Swedish Public Health Agency continues to check virus samples and is monitoring the presence of VUI 202012/01,” says Karin Tegmark Wisell, Head of Division at FHM, in a written comment and continues:
“According to the European Agency for Infection Control, ECDC, some or a few isolated cases of the virus variant have also been reported from Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium.”
State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell says the surge has been in the UK since September and has become more common in recent weeks.
In Sweden, the virus variant B.1.177 will prevail from October, and is the most common variant in Europe from August onwards.
The flight landed tonight
Freya Annamatz, press director of Swedish SAS, says the airline has not yet made any decisions on whether to cancel flights from the UK.
– We have a flight tonight that lands from the UK, and then we’ll see how it goes and evaluate it. But what we’re doing is following the travel restrictions that come in, and that means in the long run we’re more likely to cancel flights, Anamatz says.
Swedenvia, which operates Arlanda airport, among other places, has not been informed of any new restrictions and therefore is not taking any special measures for flights from the UK, the company’s press service TT reported.
In Italy, the Ministry of Health said that a person who had returned by plane from the UK had tested positive for a new viral mutation, according to La Repubblica newspaper. Italy, like many other European countries, suspended travel from Britain on Sunday.
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