BRITS have today been banned from entering Holland as the UK revealed a new strain of Covid-19 had emerged.
Boris Johnson last night cancelled Christmas for millions of Brits – telling them to "stay local" amid fears the variant can spread up to 70 per cent faster.
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The PM slapped draconian new Tier 4 measures on London, the South East and East of England, admitting “bitter regret” at axing family get-togethers.
And in what could be the first of many countries to make the move, just hours later the Dutch government announced that all flights from the UK had been banned from entering Holland.
In a statement, it said: “Pending further information, and an explanation of the epidemiological situation in the United Kingdom, the public health institute recommends that any introduction of this virus strain from the United Kingdom should be limited as much as possible, by limiting or controlling passenger movement."
It continued: “In the coming days, it will, in close collaboration with other EU member states, look into the possibilities of further restricting imports of the virus from the United Kingdom”.
The ban is in effect from 5am Sunday until January 1.
It is understood that the new variant of coronavirus has spread to at least two other countries, The Telegraph reported.
The Netherlands is under a five-week lockdown until mid-January with schools and all non-essential shops closed to slow a surge in the virus.
Europe – the epicentre of the pandemic earlier this year – is once again seeing growing cases with officials fearing an explosion in infections after the Christmas holidays as families gather.
And Boris Johnson last night introduced the new measures in the UK amid fears hospitals will be overwhelmed if the new strain gets out of control.
Travel and mixing households are banned from today under the new highest level resctrictions – with families elsewhere only allowed to form Christmas bubbles for one day on December 25 itself.
The areas in the new Tier 4 from tonight at midnight
Surrey (excluding Waverley)
The boroughs of Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings
All 32 London boroughs and the city of London.
Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough
Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring).
Scotland also banned travel from England last night – Wales was plunged into Tier 4 restrictions from midnight.
Yet thousands of Londoners fled the capital last night after the announcement.
The city's stations were said to be like "war zones" as locals skipped town before the tough new Tier 4 lockdown came into effect at midnight.
Professor Chris Whitty begged people to stay at home yesterday evening as the rules were unveiled, warning: "If you have packed a bag, unpack it."
Withing hours there were long queues of traffic on roads out of London and chaotic crushes at railway terminals as people fled to avoid the brutal new restrictions.
In St Pancras station hundreds of people were filmed rushing towards barriers to board the trains leaving the capital.
Similar frantic scenes were pictured at Paddington station and King's Cross.
Brits last night reacted with fury at the news Christmas was cancelled, with millions having already made their plans and shelling out for food, booze and gifts.
Many have taken to social media to vent their anger.
One devastated user said: "I'm sorry but my family have spent money on food for my family who are all coming in the next few days. I see my family twice a year and I am absolutely devastated like I cannot explain how upsetting and disheartening this is."
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