European nations start barring vacationers from the U.Ok. over issues of a brand new coronavirus variant.

European countries began closing their borders to travelers from the UK on Sunday, the day after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a lockdown on London and surrounding counties, citing concerns about a new, rapidly expanding variant of the Coronavirus.

The new restrictions in England, which went into effect at midnight on Saturday, effectively quarantining the capital and other areas from the rest of the country, are the toughest measures since the country was first locked in March.

The train stations in London were full of crowds on Saturday night, struggling to leave the city. The country’s health minister Matt Hancock said Sunday these pack trains were “clearly irresponsible”. He also said that the restrictions that Mr. Johnson was imposing could last for months.

The Netherlands were concerned about the possible influx of travelers from the UK and said they would suspend flights from the UK from Sunday to January 1st. They found that the variant found in England “should spread more easily and quickly”.

Italy also suspended air travel, citing duty to protect Italians and Belgian officials on Sunday imposed a 24-hour ban on arrivals from the UK by plane or train, which could be extended. Other countries are considering similar bans, including France, Germany, Austria and Ireland, according to local media.

Spain has asked the European Union for a coordinated response to the flight ban.

Traffic officials in England said they would increase the number of police officers overseeing hubs such as train stations to ensure that only essential journeys are made.

Viral mutations are not uncommon, and British officials said this variant has been discovered in a handful of other countries. A similarly contagious version of the virus has emerged in South Africa that appears to share some of the mutations seen in the British variant.

The higher portability estimate for the UK variant – officials estimate the figure at 70 percent – is based on modeling and has not been confirmed by laboratory experiments, said Muge Cevik, an infectious disease expert at the University of St Andrews in Scotland and a scientific advisor to the UK Government.

“Overall, I think we need a little more experimental data,” she said. “We cannot completely rule out that some of this portability data is related to human behavior.”

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