The UK has been heavily hit with travel bans

How do you go from being one of the most adored to a plague that everyone isn’t ready to befriend? A once-hot stock (UK) now being dumped comparably to what we see in the financial sector. When travel is discussed and the UK isn’t mentioned, then you have so much adjustment to do on your travel bucket list. London is the financial capital of Europe and it’s also one of the most visited places in Europe, so why would you want to avoid so a reputable tourist destination.

When the world was first hit with the news of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, people’s ears were filled with different versions of its origin and some had this belief that it was going to suddenly disappear in no time just the way it appeared. However, it seems the virus had other plans of its own and it never stopped unleashing every weapon in its arsenal on us.

The news of vaccines against the virus developed by different companies/institutions (Pfizer — BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford Uni — AstraZeneca, Gamaleya Sputnik V, etc.) in less than a year brought so much relief and the UK was the first country to benefit from this remarkable feat. This was the much-expected victory we sacrificed all our freedom for and embraced staycation.

Image Source: Pixabay

This time around or should I say, as usual, the science world delivered when it mattered most, and the general feeling was that everyone would return to work almost immediately and start earning once again instead of relying on the government, children would go back to school, and stringent health rules would be relaxed at the borders. Unfortunately, we were so wrong.

There’s an idiom which says; ‘What you don’t know won’t hurt you’. In the case of the coronavirus (Covid-19), you can decide not to acknowledge its existence but you can’t deny hearing about it. As a result, even non-believers are been knocked down by the strength of the virus. We’ve seen more coronavirus (Covid-19) cases across the world and it’s often attributed to more people being tested.

Recently, we received the breaking news that the coronavirus (Covid-19) has mutated, and this mutant strain is said to be capable of infecting children very easily. The UK reported this new observation and as one of the leading countries in the field of genetic engineering, it's not surprising that it was noticed before others. This single act of honest reporting has disrupted the holiday plans of UK residents and they may have to rely on other countries to lift the ban placed on the UK.

With the rapid spread of the virus across London and other areas, our initial roar of victory was met with urgent alarm of caution. Despite the emergence of these new strains which is probably an evasive tactic of the virus to ensure its survival and continuous spread, a few of the produced vaccines might still be able to fight it.

I believe Researchers already knew mutation was inevitable and some particular strain of the virus might become more common than others when a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test is conducted. The problem I foresee with this type of mutation is that; if none of the produced vaccines can produce an antibody with multiple receptors that can easily recognise any form of changes exhibited by the coronavirus (Covid-19), then, we might have to take a yearly shot of the updated vaccine.

At the moment, travellers from certain countries/territories can visit England without the need to self-isolate. Despite how subtle this may sound and probably tempt you to start packing your bag; just stop for now. If you decide not to listen to our advice, you might encounter difficulties on your return trip. Although, most countries are willing to allow their citizens back into the country. We are not even sure if this mutated version of coronavirus (Covid-19) was brought into the UK by travellers from other countries or the mutation occurred in the UK. It was reported that around 20 passengers including crew members that flew from London to India tested positive for Coronavirus when subjected to an RT-PCR test. With all these, it’s not surprising that other countries decided to shut their borders to travellers from the UK to prevent the spread of the mutant strain.

Image Source: Pixabay (Tower Bridge, London)

There are more than 30 countries that are not welcoming travellers from the UK or that have imposed stricter restrictions and they include but not limited to; Austria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Moldova, Czech Republic, Croatia, Gibraltar, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Philippines, Switzerland, Argentina, Chile, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Israel, Morocco, etc. It’s worth mentioning that most of the travel ban or restriction would only last for a few weeks (e.g. end of December, the first week in January 2021, etc.).

Also, similar strains of coronavirus (Covid-19) found in the UK has been reported in Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia, while a different strain has been reported in South Africa. As a result, some countries are unwilling to allow the entry of passengers from these countries. France initially suspended travel from the UK but has now reopened its borders mainly for essential travel whilst also considering a new testing regime. Greece did not suspend flights from the UK but has introduced stricter quarantine measures to prevent the spread of the virus from possibly asymptomatic carriers.

Virgin Atlantic will require those that intend travelling to the U.S. from London to provide proof of a negative Coronavirus test as from December 24 (Christmas Eve). Other Airlines (British Airways and Delta Airlines) have agreed to test passengers visiting New York.

Despite all chaos in the world due to the pandemic, people in Svalbard (cluster of islands between Norway and the North Pole) haven’t recorded any case but are aware that everything isn’t normal in other places. They still go about their daily business but haven’t thrown caution to the wind. Norway exercise control over Svalbard and as a result, it adheres to the mainland’s coronavirus guidance.

We can only start rejoicing without ever worrying again if these mutant strains become less-virulent and unable to spread with ease after taking the currently available vaccines or subsequent ones. The initially planned relaxation of the coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions across the UK between December 23 is no longer possible, and London including some parts of England has been moved from tier 3 to tier 4 (Stay at Home) based on the level of alert. If you’re interested in knowing more about the tier 4 click here.

Adhering to restriction or guidance within the country is really tough, and we’ve heard reports of Police officers in York issuing more than 50 tickets to people who violated the rules of the tier system over the weekend. These individuals moved from areas designated as Vey High alert (Tier 3) to High alert (Tier 2) thereby posing a risk of widespread of the virus.

We hope everything returns to normal very soon.

As usual, the Dartemuv team just want to say thank you for reading this article and hope to bring you more…

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