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UK imposes stricter restrictions on Denmark visitors over mink COVID-19 fears

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-11-09 09:41
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A mink is seen at the farm of Henrik Nordgaard Hansen and Ann-Mona Kulsoe Larsen near Naestved, Denmark, November 6, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON -- Freight drivers who are not British citizens and have been through Denmark in the last fortnight are warned they will be turned away from the British border, the BBC reported Sunday.

The measures were taken after people voiced their concerns over a new coronavirus strain that has spread from mink to humans in Denmark.

British citizens can return from Denmark, but will have to isolate along with all members of their household for 14 days.

Cabin crew are also no longer exempt from the rules, which Ryanair described as a "bizarre and baseless" move, according to the BBC.

The new rules, which began at 4:00 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Sunday, follow a ban on non-British citizens coming to Britain from Denmark.

Five so-called clusters of coronavirus mutations derived from farmed minks in Denmark have now been found in 214 people, and the most problematic "cluster 5" might have resistance to the antibodies with its "spike protein," the Danish Statens Serum Institut, a governmental public health and research institution under the Danish Ministry of Health, has said.

Passenger planes and ships carrying freight (as well as passengers) from Denmark will also not be allowed to dock at English ports, said the BBC.

The British Department for Transport (DfT) said the latest rules followed the release of "further information" from health officials in Denmark.

The travel ban and extra requirements will be reviewed after a week, the DfT said.

On Thursday, Britain kicked off the second lockdown in England since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

To bring life back to normal, countries, such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States, are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

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