UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair an emergency response meeting on Monday to discuss international travel, in particular the flow of freight in and out of Britain, according to a spokeswoman for his office.
Britain’s European neighbours began closing their doors to travellers from the United Kingdom on Sunday amid alarm about a rapidly spreading strain of coronavirus that has caused cases to soar there.
The travel restrictions come at a difficult time for many British companies, which are engaged in last-minute stockpiling before December 31, when a status quo transition period with the European Union ends and new customs rules come into effect.
UK analysis suggests this new variant may be up to 70% more transmissible, which could increase the reproduction “R” rate by 0.4.
The new variant contains 23 different changes, including in areas of the virus that are known to be associated with how the virus binds to and enters cells.