Iran halts UK flights over new COVID strain

December 21, 2020 - 22:55

TEHRAN – Iran has halted flights to and from the United Kingdom following the discovery of a new variant of COVID-19, which is said to spread faster than others.

 “At the discretion of Health Ministry, flights to UK destinations will be suspended for two weeks,” IRIB quoted Iran's deputy transport minister Shahram Adamnejad as saying on Sunday.

“Due to the new condition of COVID -19 in the United Kingdom, flights between Tehran and destinations in the United Kingdom will be suspended for two weeks at the discretion of the Ministry of Health, to prevent the transmission of the disease and to try to maintain public health,” the official explained.

The new coronavirus variant, which prompted the UK government to impose a Tier 4 lockdown in London and southeastern England, and tighten restrictions for all of England over the festive period, is "out of control," Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday — the same day that the UK broke its daily coronavirus case record, recording 35,928 new cases, CNN reported.

The ensuing wave of travel bans has also cut off UK travelers from much of Europe and other parts of the world.