Cut Off: Britain Hit With Travel Bans Over New Virus Strain

A police officer directs traffic at the entrance to the closed ferry terminal in Dover, England, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, after the Port of Dover was closed and access to the Eurotunnel terminal suspended following the French government's announcement. France banned all travel from the UK for 48 hours from midnight Sunday, including trucks carrying freight through the tunnel under the English Channel or from the port of Dover on England's south coast. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

(AP) — Trucks waiting to get out of Britain are backing up for miles and people are stranded at airports as many countries impose stringent travel restrictions over concerns about a new strain of the coronavirus that authorities say may spread more easily.

A growing number of countries are halting air travel from the U.K., while France has banned trucks from the country for a period of 48 hours while the new variant is assessed. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the strain is “out of control” around London and southeastern England — but experts have urged caution, saying it’s not clear if it’s more lethal. There were rising hopes Monday that France would allow traffic to flow again, if truck drivers take coronavirus tests on arrival.

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