Health officials in Ontario, Canada, reported that two cases of the new strain of COVID-19 sweeping the United Kingdom have appeared in the province.
The cases were identified in a couple in southern Ontario who had no known travel history, according to Reuters. They also had no known exposure to the virus or other high-risk contact.
“This further reinforces the need for Ontarians to stay home as much as possible and continue to follow all public health advice, including the provincewide shutdown measures beginning today,” said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s associate chief medical officer.
Ontario on Saturday reported 4,301 new cases over the past two days. The province has reported 2,000 cases per day for 12 consecutive days. Canada has so far reported 541,616 cases of COVID-19, including 14,800 deaths.
Canada extended a ban on passenger flights from the U.K. and also implemented enhanced screening for travelers arriving from South Africa due to the rising occurrences of the COVID-19 variant.
Canada was among the nations that attempted to keep out the new strain of COVID-19, which is believed to have originated in the U.K. The new mutation is potentially more contagious and has led to 40 countries restricting travel from the U.K., according to CNN. The weekend before Christmas, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson instituted an emergency lockdown on London and southeastern England.
As The Daily Wire reported:
Ireland, Canada, and several nations of Europe have restricted travel to and from the United Kingdom following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of a new lockdown Saturday after a new, highly contagious strain of COVID-19 apparently emerged in London and areas of southern England.
France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland, and Bulgaria have all responded to Johnson’s edict by either banning or severely restricting travel from the U.K., according to The Associated Press.
France banned all travel from the U.K. for 48 hours beginning midnight Sunday, going so far as to forbid freight-bearing trucks traveling under the English Channel. “French officials said the pause would buy time to find a ‘common doctrine’ on how to deal with the threat, but it threw the busy cross-channel route used by thousands of trucks a day into chaos,” the AP reported.
Flights from the U.K. to Germany were also halted, as were trains from London to Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that for 72 hours after midnight on Sunday, “all flights from the U.K. will be prohibited from entering Canada,” adding that anyone who arrived from the country on Sunday would have to undergo secondary screening.
In the U.S., Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also expressed concern about travelers from the U.K., describing it as “reprehensible” and “grossly negligent” to allow flights from the country into John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to the New York Post.
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