Airlines dealt another blow as UK bans entry to travellers from Denmark

·3-min read
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps, Conservative Party MP for Welwyn Hatfield, arrives on Downing Street for the weekly cabinet meeting, currently being held at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), in London, England, on October 20, 2020. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
UK transport secretary, Grant Shapps announced the move on Twitter. Photo: David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The UK has announced it will ban foreign entry to visitors from Denmark amid widespread outbreaks of COVID-19 in the country’s mink farms, as of 4am on Saturday.

All non-British national or resident travellers who have been in or transited through Denmark in the last 14 days will be denied entry into Britain.

The government also said its expanding the self-isolation rules for Denmark, it also removed the country from the government’s list of travel corridors on Friday.

UK transport secretary, Grant Shapps announced the move on Twitter.

He said: “Visitors arriving into the UK from Denmark will not be permitted entry into the UK.

“This decision to act quickly follows on from health authorities in Denmark reporting widespread outbreaks of coronavirus in mink farms. Keeping the UK public safe remains our top priority,” Shapps added.

Denmark also announced strict new lockdown measures and a nationwide cull of millions of minks bred in the country’s 1,139 mink farms after authorities discovered a mutated virus strain in the animals.

The country is the world’s largest mink fur exporter and produces an estimated 17 million furs per year.

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This comes as a blow to airlines who were already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and grounding of flights.

While airlines have moved quickly to cancel any flights between the UK and Denmark, some flights are still in operation in order to repatriate British citizens and residents.

The airline industry has been strapped for cash since the onset of the pandemic, with thousands of job cuts and tumbling revenues amid changing global coronavirus rules.

It comes after, UK prime minister Boris Johnson delivered another blow, last week after he announced a lockdown in England, which will last until 2 December.

Foreign travel was banned, except for work purposes, while travel within the UK is discouraged as part of the month-long lockdown.

On Friday, easyJet (EZJ.L) said that the new lockdown in England has forced it to scale back flying capacity, which had already been reduced by similar measures taken in France and Germany.

The budget airline said that it would now fly no more than 20% of capacity for the rest of the year.

Meanwhile, rival Ryanair (RYA.L) posted its first losses over the summer in decades on Monday, as passenger numbers plummeted amid the pandemic.

Ryanair’s results highlighted their fading fortunes since European governments began tightening restrictions in September, which “heavily curtailed travel to/from much of central Europe, the UK, Ireland, Austria, Belgium and Portugal.”

Recently similar measures were taken in other European countries, such as France, Germany and Italy.

READ MORE: New UK lockdowns push easyJet to scale back capacity

“All travellers, including British Nationals and residents who are returning from Denmark, will be required to show a complete passenger locator form on arrival into the UK. This is critical in being able to track the virus in case of any local outbreaks,” the Transport department said.

On Friday, the Home Office announced it would step up Border Force presence “to ensure that people arriving in the UK from Denmark were compliant with the new measures.”

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to Denmark.

The rules do not apply to hauliers and freight, who have an exception. The government said that it would review the decision again next week.

Denmark was also added to Scotland’s travel quarantine list, with First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announcing the move at the Scottish government’s coronavirus briefing on Friday, minutes before it came into effect at 12.30pm.

Watch: Europe locking down as coronavirus cases continue to surge