LONDON – It is more reminiscent of the early Christmas morning. It was introduced early on that Britain is not just an island nation, but increasingly finds itself alone.
The decision by the United States to require all airline passengers arriving from Britain to be tested negative for coronavirus within hours of their departure, starting on Monday, did not come as a shock as it was the second bitter pill in the Somber holiday season.
The rapid spread of a coronavirus variant there is likely to be more contagious. Dozens of countries have banned passengers from entering Britain. The extended lockdown in the country will cover 48 million people by Saturday. Thousands of trucks have also been stranded off the coast of England, despite a brief border blockade imposed by France over the virus.
Adding to the instability was the last-minute Brexit deal with the European Union, which prevented Britain from breaking out of the bloc without a treaty, but it was a painful reminder of the country’s divisive decision.
Then there was Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s holiday message, warning that “sning ging under miscellaneous.”
Although one of the strengths of Brexit supporters was their desire to “regain control” of Britain, the nation’s immediate destiny is being shaped by forces beyond anyone’s control – and perhaps nothing more than a coronavirus.
The rapid spread of various types of the virus – which government figures currently account for half of all cases in England – led to a lockout in London and the south of England this week. Starting Saturday, it will include the country’s largest mausoleum, and the national lockdown cannot be ruled out.
“I know it’s been very, very tough over the last few weeks, and I have to tell people, it’s going to be tough.” Mr. Johnson said Thursday.
Many countries already require a negative coronavirus test for entry, and U.S. The new sanctions are less stringent than the nearest total ban imposed on travelers from Britain by almost all countries. As the country serves as a connection hub for passengers traveling between Europe and the United States, its sprawling airlines suffered another setback, with governments reducing travel after flights due to travel delays.
The general flood of traffic between the United States and Britain was already drastically reduced. More than 4.4 million British residents visited the United States in 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics.
And since Heathrow Airport accounted for more than a million passengers in the North American market in February, the figure has dropped to 811.71 last month, according to data compiled by the airport.
Britain’s foreign and Commonwealth offices Fiso updated their travel advice on Friday to include a new testing requirement. People who want to travel can use either PCR. The result of the test has to be given – which must be sent to a lab and the process can take several days – or a quick antigen test, a relatively new tool that gives results in about 30 minutes.
With so many private clinics and labs closed for Christmas on Friday, testing in the 72-hour window can be difficult for those looking to travel immediately after the holiday. Price can also be a factor. Heathrow Airport charges approximately $ 150 for PCR results with 48 hours and $ 60 for antigen tests with results within 45 minutes. Private clinics charge more for both tests.
Both tests are offered at several major British airports, including Gatwick, Manchester and London Luton, as well as Heathrow. But since passengers need to register in advance for the tests, it is not clear how many will be able to get one on time – and then get the result.
Irregular travel will also be banned in most of Britain starting Saturday.
Despite the restrictions, there are concerns that variants mounting scientific evidence are more contagious, perhaps more widely spread than previously known. And since few countries use the level of genomic surveillance that Britain does, it can be traced back weeks.
A woman flying in Germany on Sunday – hours before the country banned her travel – tested positive for the type, German health officials said on Thursday. It was the first case to be reported in the country, but experts said it was probably not the first case there since at least since September.
Singapore also announced that it had found the case on Thursday.
And Denmark, which has more extensive genomic surveillance than many other countries, according to Danish health officials. Between December 14 and December 14, 33 cases of variants were found.
Concerns about a variant banning travel also prompted France to block the Channel 48 hours on the English Channel. However, after the order was revoked on Wednesday, the subsequent pressure to test thousands of drivers for the virus as a condition to enter France has proved to be a logistical nightmare.
As of Thursday, three of the 2,367 drivers tested were positive, Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said. Thousands more are yet to be tested. The British military has sent an additional 800 troops to help screen 300 people already there.
He is the country’s defense minister due to concerns among drivers’ home nations, including Poland Said in a tweet A team of soldiers will be sent to England to deliver the civilians home.
For the tired and bored British public, it was difficult to have general entertainment during the holidays.
The Queen’s annual Christmas speech was also the subject of controversy when a national broadcaster, Channel 4, provided a “warning” about the dangers of “deep deep fake” videos by presenting a five-minute fake version of the address based on the holiday.
In it, the fake queen mourns the departure of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan for the United States. Sexual offender Jeffrey Epstein in.
The BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Vichel was not impressed.
“There have been numerous imitations of the Queen,” he said. “This isn’t particularly good.”
The real Queen Elizabeth II was separated from most of her family on Friday, as she spent Christmas at Windsor Castle with her husband Prince Philip rather than Sandringham, according to their usual tradition.
When she addressed the nation, she offered some historical perspective, citing the example of Florence Nightingale, who was born two centuries earlier this year.
“Florence Nightingale lit a lamp of hope around the world,” the Queen said. “Today, our foremost services still light that lamp for us – supported by the wonderful achievements of modern science – and we are grateful to them. We are moved by the kindness of strangers and rest that even in the darkest night, there is hope in the new morning. “