LONDON – This is another reminder, delivered before Christmas morning, that Britain is not only an island nation, but one that finds itself alone.
A decision by the United States to require all airline passengers arriving from the UK to test negative for coronovirus within 72 hours of starting Monday, was not so much a shock as it was another bitter one in a sluggish holiday season. It was shot.
Fear of being more contagious leads to the rapid spread of coronavirus virus. Dozens of countries UK travelers are barred from entering. 48 million people will be involved in the extended lockdown in the country until Saturday. And Thousands of trucks stuck Even after France, a brief border blockade lifted off the virus concerns off the coast of England.
Adding to the volatility was a last minute Brexit deal with EU, Which saved Britain from crashing out of the bloc without an agreement, but it was all a painful reminder of a decision that has divided the country.
Then there was the holiday message from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who warned against “snogging under the mistletoe”.
Although a drawback of Brexit supporters was that they were motivated by a desire to “take back control” of Britain, the immediate fate of the nation is being shaped by forces beyond anyone’s control – and perhaps none more than coronovirus .
Spread rapidly Virus version – which government figures currently account for half of all cases in England – due to the lockout in London and southern England this week. The program, which begins on Saturday, will include an even wider swath of the country, and a national lockout has not been ruled out.
“I know this has been very difficult in the last few weeks, and, I should tell people, it will continue to be difficult,” Mr. Johnson said on Thursday.
Many countries already require a negative coronovirus test for admission, and the new US sanctions are no less severe than the total sanctions that nearly 50 countries have placed on UK travelers. But with the country serving as a connection hub for passengers traveling between Europe and the United States, it was another setback for its battered airlines, which were flipped from flight after flight as governments The trip was suspended.
The general flooding of traffic between the United States and Britain had already suffered declines. According to the Office of National Statistics, more than 4.8 million British residents visited the United States in 2019.
And while Heathrow Airport accounted for more than a million passengers in the North American market in February, the figure has since fallen to 81,713 last month, according to data compiled by the airport.
The UK’s overseas and commonwealth offices updated their travel advice on Friday to include the new testing requirement. Those wishing to travel must provide either the result of a PCR test – which must be sent to a laboratory and the process may take several days – or Rapid Antigen Test, a relatively new device that results in about 30 minutes .
With many private clinics and laboratories closed for Christmas on Friday, testing within a 72-hour window can be difficult for those who wish to travel immediately after the holiday. Price may also be a factor. Heathrow Airport charges $ 130 for PCR results with 48 hours and approximately $ 60 For antigen testing with results within 45 minutes. Private clinics charge even more for both tests.
Both tests are provided at several major British airports, including Gatwick, Manchester and London Luton as well as Heathrow. But because travelers are required to register in advance for the tests, it was unclear how many people would be able to get one – and then get one result – in time.
Non-potential travel will also be banned in most places in the UK starting on Saturday.
Despite the restrictions, there is concern that the variant, which indicates growing scientific evidence, is more contagious, possibly spreading far more widely than previously known. And because very few countries use Genomic surveillance level Britain does, it can spread undetected for weeks already.
German health officials said on Thursday that a woman who flew into Germany on Sunday, hours before a travel ban was imposed in the country – the test was positive. This was the first case to be identified in the country, but because the version has been circulating since at least September, experts said it was probably not the first case there.
Singapore also announced that it had traced a case on Thursday.
Denmark, which has wider genomic surveillance than many other countries, reported 33 cases of variant between November 14 and December 14, according to Danish health officials.
Concerns about the version that led to the travel ban, which prompted France to block the English Channel for 48 hours. While that order was lifted on Wednesday, a subsequent push to test thousands of drivers for the virus as a condition of entering France has proved to be a logical nightmare.
As of Thursday, Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said that of 2,367 drivers tested, three were positive. Thousands remain to be tested. The British army has sent an additional 200 soldiers to help check the health workers by assisting the 300 people already present there.
As the driver of the Defense Minister of that country of Poland was deeply concerned in the domestic countries Said in a tweet A team of soldiers will be sent to England to help deliver civilians home.
For an exhausted and exaggerated British public, the holiday season was barely available for general entertainment.
Even the Queen’s annual Christmas speech became a topic of controversy when a national broadcaster, Channel 4, questioned the dangers of “deeply fake” videos by using the holiday to present a five-minute fake version of the address. Warning “.
In it, the fake queen bids Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, depart for the US and instructs the BBC to give an interview about their interview this year for the Duke of York’s decision to step down from royal duties. Sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The BBC’s royal correspondent, Nicholas Witchell, was not impressed.
“There have been countless imitations of the queen,” he said. “This one is not particularly good.”
The real Queen Elizabeth II was separated from her family on Friday, spending Christmas at Windsor Castle with her husband, Prince Philip instead of Sandringham, as is her usual tradition.
When he addressed the nation, he offered some historical perspective, citing the example of Florence Nightingale, who was born two centuries earlier this year.
“Florence Nightingale shined a lamp of hope around the world,” the queen said. “Today, our frontier services still shine that lamp for us – supported by the amazing achievements of modern science – and we owe them a debt of gratitude. We continue to be moved by the kindness of strangers and drawn to this There is hope in the new dawn, even in the darkest nights. “