With agency report
The UK has imposed a ban on non-UK citizens coming from Denmark amid concerns over a new coronavirus strain that has spread from mink to humans.
UK citizens will be able to return to Britain from Denmark – but will have to isolate along with all members of their household for 14 days.
The new rules update regulations that came into force just a day earlier.
The transport secretary announced the changes shortly after 02:00 GMT – less than two hours before they took effect.
Writing on Twitter, Grant Shapps said: “This decision to act quickly follows on from health authorities in Denmark reporting widespread outbreaks of coronavirus in mink farms. Keeping the UK public safe remains our top priority.”
Denmark’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod called the latest restrictions a “very drastic step” and said he had discussed them with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Saturday.
Mr Kofod said Danish health authorities were “working closely” with international health organisations to share information and “reaching out” to ensure any “relevant knowledge” is passed to UK officials.
Officials will contact anyone in the UK who has been in Denmark in the last fortnight to make sure they also self-isolate.
Denmark had been taken off the UK coronavirus travel corridors list on Friday after it first became apparent the mutated form of coronavirus was present in the country. It meant any passengers arriving in the UK from Denmark would need to self-isolate after their arrival.
The latest rules both bans foreign visitors who have been in or transited through Denmark and expands the self-isolation requirements for returning Britons and residents to include all members of their households.
They took effect at 04:00 GMT on Saturday – the same time passengers arriving in the UK from Germany or Sweden were required to self-isolate for 14 days after both countries were taken off the travel corridor list.
Freight and hauliers are currently exempt from the restrictions, but the Department for Transport (DfT) has said there will be an announcement on this later. Denmark was the UK’s 23rd largest export market in 2019, worth £6.8bn for goods and services.
The DfT said any cabin crew and pilots in Denmark after 04:00 GMT are no longer exempt from quarantine rules, and must self-isolate along with the rest of their household for 14 days.
Whilst crew who were in Denmark before the deadline in the last seven days are not legally required to self-isolate, the DfT is strongly recommending they do so.
Scottish airline Loganair said that due to government restrictions it has suspended flights between Scotland and Denmark from 9 to 22 November.
mutated strain of coronavirus that has spread to humans has triggered culls of millions of mink across Denmark and a lockdown in some parts of the country.
More than 200 people have been infected with strains related to mink, according to reports.
Mink kept in large numbers on farms have caught the virus from infected workers. And, in a small number of cases, the virus has crossed back from mink to humans, picking up genetic changes on the way.
Mutations in some of the strains, which have infected a small number of people, are reported to involve the spike protein of the virus, which is targeted by some, but not all, vaccines being developed.
The coronavirus, like all viruses, mutates over time, but there is no evidence that any of the mutations pose an increased danger to people.
The World Health Organization has said it is too early to jump to conclusions.