An increasing number of European countries are suspending flights and train services from Britain, on account of a mutation of the COVID-19 virus. News this week tells of this more aggressive stain having appeared in other parts of the European and world map. So far, the mutation has been detected in Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Australia.
European Union officials and epidemiologists are working feverishly to assess the situation as the new COVID-19 crisis spurs fears of an even deadlier third wave of infections. On Sunday night, the President of the European Council Charles Michel had a videoconference with representatives of the member states, while for today at noon the German Presidency has an extraordinary meeting with the Crisis Management Committee (IPCR) of the EU in order to take decisions on coordinated action on maritime and land links with the United Kingdom.
Here in Greece, officials have already announced the extension of the quarantine to seven days for travelers coming from the United Kingdom. The government is also poised to take extra measures, over concern the ban of flights from Great Britain.
The new variant is being referred to as “SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01, and currently accounts for 60% of the COVID infections in London. Immunologists fear the new strain may have a capability to evade vaccine-induced immunity, or to at least make vaccines less effective.