Covid-19: More than 40 countries ban UK arrivals over Covid

 Lorries queuing to get into Dover

More than 40 countries have banned UK arrivals because of concerns at the spread of a new variant of coronavirus.

Flights from the UK are being suspended to countries across the world including Spain, India and Hong Kong.

On Sunday evening, France shut its border with the UK for 48 hours, meaning no lorries or ferries will be able to sail from the port of Dover.

The French government said it will establish a protocol "to ensure movement from the UK can resume".

European Union member states are currently meeting in Brussels to discuss a co-ordinated response.

Boris Johnson is due to chair a meeting of the government's emergency committee and will hold a press conference at Downing Street later.

Eurotunnel services to France are also suspended and Eurostar trains to Belgium are not operating.

But Eurotunnel spokesman John Keefe said he hoped travel from the UK could begin on Wednesday or Thursday.

"We expect it will be something around testing," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Other countries to impose a ban on UK arrivals include Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Russia, and Switzerland.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases in the UK rose by 35,928 on Sunday - nearly double the number recorded seven days previously.

And it was announced that a further 326 people died within 28 days of testing positive, bringing the nation's total to 67,401.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that the new variant of the virus - which may be up to 70% more transmissible - is "getting out of control".

The new variant has spread quickly in London and south-east England, but health officials say there is no evidence that it is more deadly or would react differently to vaccines.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described the situation as a "real emergency", saying: "The news over the last 24 hours has been deeply disturbing. The number of coronavirus cases has nearly doubled in the last week."

He added: "We can have no more over-promising and false hope, confused messages and slow decision-making. We need strong, clear and decisive leadership."

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