European nations have begun to impose travel bans on the UK after it reported a more-infectious & ‘out of control’ coronavirus variant. Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands & Belgium are all halting flights. The measures vary & are initially short-term but the French rules also affect Channel freight. An EU meeting on December 21 will discuss a more co-ordinated response. The new variant has spread quickly in London and south-east England. On December 19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced a new tier four level of restrictions for those areas, scrapping a planned relaxation of rules over the Christmas period for millions of people. Top health officials told BBC that there was no evidence the new variant was more deadly, or would react differently to vaccines, but it was proving to be up to 70% more transmissible. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the new strain "was out of control, we have got to get it under control". Within hours of the UK announcement on December 19, the Netherlands said it would ban all passenger flights from the UK until January 1. France, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Turkey & other places have imposed travel restrictions.