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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Norway lifts Covid travel ban on UK flights


lights from the UK to Norway will resume from Saturday after the Scandanavian country lifted its travel ban on British arrivals.

However, on Friday morning the country’s health ministry said planes would be permitted to land from 4pm on Saturday.

In addition, all people arriving in the Nordic country from abroad will need to be tested for Covid-19, either directly upon arrival or within 24 hours.

“If this strain reaches Norway, it will probably spark a full lockdown,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Thursday.

The country’s 14-day cumulative number of virus cases per 100,000 inhabitants was down to 113.6 as of Wednesday.

This is the fourth lowest figure in Europe behind Iceland, Greece and Finland, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

More than 40 countries had banned arrivals from the UK  by December 20, including Germany, France and Italy.

UK to Europe flight bans: What do we know so far?

Pakistan’s travel ban was due to expire at midnight on Decemeber 29, but will now remain in force until January 4.

A day after the decision was announced health officials in the south of the country said they had detected the country’s first three cases of the virus variant.

Meanwhile German authorities said the mutant strain had been detected in samples from two patients who were infected in northern Germany in November.

The health ministry in Lower Saxony state said the samples were tested more thoroughly after news of the new variant emerged in the UK.

They were taken in November from an elderly man with other medical conditions, who later died, and from his wife.

The ministry said the man’s daughter had been in England in mid-November and was likely to have been infected there.

ONS: Half of new coronavirus cases in England could be mutant strain

Germany, like several other European countries, detected a case of the new variant last week, in a woman who flew in from London on December 20.

Meanwhile India has found six people who returned from Britain in recent weeks infected with the new variant.

What is the new Covid variant?

The state’s health department said the new virus mutation was detected in a man in his 20s and that officials were investigating the infection.

The health department did not give further details, such as releasing the man’s medical condition or how the strain was detected, though it noted he had no recent travel history.

California on Wednesday announced the nation’s second confirmed case of the new virus strain.

The announcement came 24 hours after word of the first reported US variant infection, which emerged in Colorado. 

Its sufferer was a serviceman who had been sent to help out at a nursing home struggling with an outbreak.

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