THOUSANDS of travellers have been stranded in airports throughout Britain in the present day after greater than 200 flights had been grounded when nations blocked UK passengers.
Greater than 30,000 folks had been left caught in UK airports in the present day as panicked Brits tried to flee for Christmas and overseas nationals made a determined bid to achieve residence.
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A traveller queues in a Santa costume and masks at a packed Heathrow airport Credit score: AFP or licensors
Over 80 flights had been grounded at Heathrow airport in the present day
1000’s tried to flee the UK in the present day however over 200 flights had been grounded Credit score: Peter Jordan – The Solar
The transfer comes after Boris Johnson introduced stifling new Tier 4 guidelines in London and south east England after a mutant Covid pressure within the areas was discovered to be as much as 70 per cent extra infectious.
The choice sparked a UK journey ban from a number of nations in a bid to cease the brand new pressure spreading internationally.
International locations together with France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Denmark, Eire, and Bulgaria all introduced restrictions on UK journey in the present day.
And outdoors Europe, Hong Kong, Canada, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Kuwait, El Salvador, Argentina, Chile and Morocco have additionally imposed their very own journey bans.
Anxious travellers trying to depart the UK discovered themselves queues ready for Covid checks at Heathrow airport, London – the place over 80 departures had been grounded.
Over half of the flights cancelled at Heathrow had been from British Airways – however the variety of cancellations is mounting continually.
Over 200 flights to Europe have been axed throughout UK airports with key stopover routes for lengthy haul flights – akin to Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Frankfurt – all being affected.
And as flights had been shut down throughout the nation, households and children had been seen sleeping on airport flooring, determined to search out one other flight to their vacation spot.
A passenger at Heathrow makes their strategy to the luggage desk in a hazmat go well with
Flight crews arrive at Heathrow airport this morningCredit score: EPA
A Heathrow flight board reveals cancellations to Amsterdam, Munich and Buenos AiresCredit score: AFP or licensors
Tier 4 bans worldwide journey for all however important functions – however Heathrow airport was packed in the present day
A spokesman for Heathrow informed Mailonline that solely passengers with a ticket to a vacation spot that has not but banned UK arrivals will probably be allowed within the airport.
The spokesman added: “If you do not have a ticket, or are travelling to a rustic with an lively ban in place, don’t come to the airport. We are not looking for the airport flooded or related scenes that had been seen at St Pancras on Saturday night time.”
In Manchester, airport officers issued a warning to travellers that flights are “topic to brief discover change or cancellation”.
Whereas the airport stays open, passengers are being suggested to examine their flights with airways earlier than turning up on the airport.
Manchester Airport tweeted this morning: “Whereas Manchester Airport stays open, many flights are topic to brief discover change or cancellation.
“In case you are resulting from be flying to a rustic with restrictions in place, please examine together with your airline earlier than travelling to the airport.”
A Manchester Airport spokesperson informed Manchester Evening News: “Resulting from latest developments with the Covid-19 pandemic, quite a lot of nations have imposed restrictions on flights arriving from the UK.
“We respect this can be a tough time for our passengers and we’re working carefully with our airways to minimise any disruption.
“This can be a fast-moving state of affairs, with many flights topic to short-notice change or cancellation.
“We’d urge all passengers to examine the standing of their flight and never journey to the airport except they’re sure it’s going forward.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is because of deal with the nation this night after the sweeping journey bans threw airports into chaos and France’s 48 hour blockade noticed drastic delays in Dover and the channel tunnel.
However that was later lifted because the EU sought to work out a standard strategy to journey and commerce to and from the UK.
French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari mentioned a protocol can be adopted at a European Union-wide degree “to make sure that motion from the UK can resume”.
Whereas worldwide journey is at present banned for all however important functions in Tier 4 areas of England, 1000’s nonetheless flocked to London airports within the days earlier than Christmas.
The federal government’s overseas journey internet web page alerted Brits in the present day: “Following identification of a brand new variant of the virus, worldwide journey out of your space could also be more and more restricted due to home rules.
“For instance, these in Tier 4 areas in England is not going to be permitted to journey overseas other than restricted exceptions, akin to work functions. Observe all the principles that apply to you.”
On Saturday, Mr Johnson mentioned there was “no proof” the brand new variant “causes extra extreme sickness or increased mortality” however “it does seem like handed on considerably extra simply”.
He mentioned the brand new pressure may very well be as much as 70 % extra transmissible than the outdated virus variant.